Third shift to continue at Windsor Assembly ‘until further notice’

A minivan in production at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly plant, December 7, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

The third shift will continue at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ Windsor Assembly Plant, for the time being.

Blackburn News has learned that the plant will continue to operate at full tilt beyond the previously-announced date, according to a short statement provided by LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for FCA Canada.

“FCA will continue its current three-shift operation at the Windsor Assembly Plant until further notice,” read the statement.

Gosselin also told BlackburnNewsWindsor.com that this does not mean that the third shift has been saved, only that there is no concrete date set for the end of the shift.

However, Unifor Local 444, which represents plant employees, stated in a post on its Facebook page that they have not received a specific message from the automaker stating otherwise.

“It’s the same message we have been sending, third shift is secure until at least the end of 2019,” read the post. “There is no date yet for shift elimination.”

The automaker had originally announced on March 28 that the third shift would be discontinued by September 30 due to a change in the auto market for consumers from smaller cars and minivans to full pickup trucks and SUVs.

Third-shift workers first received a reprieve in June when Chrysler received a large fleet order for the minivans built at the plant. Unifor was then told by FCA in August that the elimination was being pushed off again, this time until the end of this year, due to a larger-than-expected increase in sales for the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

About 1,500 jobs at the plant are still affected.

In related news, the union local said Friday afternoon that the plant will be on a layoff from November 4 to November 10.