Windsor Assembly Plant to lose 1,500 jobs

Photo of the Windsor Assembly Plant, September 4 2017. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

One of three shifts at the Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) is being eliminated, which is expected to result in the loss of over 1,000 jobs.

Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy dropped the bombshell at a news conference late Thursday afternoon. Cassidy said the permanent shift loss will begin September 30.  Cassidy cited recent declining sales of the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan, which are built in Windsor.

He said the union is working on a new product for the plant and wants to meet with the automaker immediately.

“This is a sales and business decision. I can tell you we’re going to keep pressure on FCA on product and fully utilize our facility,” said Cassidy.

Workers are obviously emotional. Some began crying and hugging when they heard the news.

Eliminating the third shift will affect around 1,500 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) workers at the plant, plus thousands more at feeder plants across Windsor.

Unifor Local 444 was notified at 2 p.m. on Thursday that the third shift will be eliminated. The plant has been operating with three shifts since 1993.

An emotional Cassidy said it’s devastating news for Windsor.

“People’s lives, 1,500 direct families depend on us and we’re going to do everything possible to make sure we maintain three shifts at Windsor Assembly Plant,” he added.

Cassidy said the plant will take any new product to keep it operating around the clock.

“Our product in Windsor is number one in the world. Everybody knows it and everybody knows if you want to build it right, you build it in Windsor,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy also called out Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens saying “F*** Drew”. He said he has reached out to the mayor many times to bridge a gap and Dilkens needs to pay attention to this. Cassidy called Windsor Assembly Plant and Caesars Windsor “two crown jewels in the city”.