Ford turns up nose at unprecedented offer to save St. Thomas Assembly Plant

In a last-ditch effort to save the St. Thomas assembly plant, the province and Canadian Auto Workers made offers of cash and unprecedented concessions — but Ford Motor Co. said no.

The province offered as much as $150 million and the union told the company to cherry-pick details of any collective agreement and put it on the table, CAW national president Ken Lewenza said yesterday.

“(Ford of Canada vice-president) Joe Hendricks told me directly he could not get a better deal from any government than the one the Ontario government was prepared to put in front of Ford Motor Co. He was clear about that,” Lewenza said. “They were prepared to do more than any jurisdiction in the world. The Ontario government was prepared to be a major player.”

Instead, Ford will close the St. Thomas assembly plant in September 2011, cutting 1,600 jobs.

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