Because it makes vehicles that are popular, the Fiat Chrysler Windsor plant is in a fairly favorable position as union contract negotiations begin this week with automakers Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors in Canada.
However, the resumption of a third shift, eliminated in July, seems very hypothetical.
Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444 puts it bluntly: negotiations for Fiat Chrysler’s (FCA) Windsor plant will focus on job losses caused by end of third shift .
Return to employment of employees
«We are lucky, 700 employees accepted the departure incentives, but we still have almost 400 young people who have lost their jobs […] Our goal is to get them back to work», He explains.
He fears the pandemic will complicate the negotiation process.
«We will not allow COVID-19 to be used as a pretext to cut the deal […] This business has been making big profits for several years, it’s time to pay back», He states.
A favorable situation
Yan Cimon, professor of strategy at Laval University, still thinks that the FCA plant in Windsor is in a good position for the negotiations which are beginning.
On the other hand, on the subject of the return to employment of employees, he explains that everything is still too hypothetical: it is not at all guaranteed that the management party will want to go ahead with this shift given the current uncertainty, he says.
The president of Desrosiers Automotive Consultants, Dennis Desrosiers also believes that the FCA plant is the least threatened by the negotiations which are beginning. Yet, he believes, they will be particularly difficult for the union.
«This year the negotiations will be among the most difficult for a very long time», He explains. Indeed, the pandemic has put the industry in difficulty; “the drop in production is the largest since the 1930s», He explains. On the other hand, according to him, the current auto market is on the decline, and therefore portends difficulties for negotiations.
However, the analyst is also optimistic for the Windsor plant.
«[Elle] is probably one of the safest factories in Canada […] It is one of the best FCA factories in North America.FCA is one of the few companies that produce vans, he explains, which is a guarantee of safety.
The current collective agreements expire on September 21.
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