UPDATE: Third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant gets three months grace

BlackburnNews.com file photo of Windsor Assembly. (Photo by Jason Viau)

The third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) has been extended until at least the end of the year, while the worker’s union continues to fight for its survival.

Unifor Local 444 tweeted out the news Wednesday afternoon after meeting with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, said the extension is based on better sales of the Pacifica minivan lately.

“Sales came in which pushed us over the top and they’re extending it out until the end of the year which is great news,” said Cassidy.

The union has been fighting to save the third shift for months after being given notice by the automaker at the end of March that the shift was being eliminated as of September 30, 2019, due to slumping sales of the Pacifica and Grand Caravan minivans. However, the elimination deadline for the shift was extended until October 21 to facilitate the new fleet order.

Cassidy said this latest extension announced this week is not a final solution but it buys more time to get a new product and save the third shift.

“All of these extensions provides us more opportunity to work with the company to get a final resolve,” he added.

Cassidy hopes a new product will keep current employees working well into the future.

“We know there’s a lot of anxiety out there surrounding the third shift and it’s tough for everybody obviously including the leadership,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy said the union will continue to work on behalf of the members to do everything possible to strengthen the product lineup at the plant and achieve future investments that may ultimately save the third shift long-term.

The third shift has been rolling vehicles off the line since 1993.