CA:CAW reveals plan to save jobs at Ford Canada plant
CAW reveals plan to save jobs at Ford Canada plant
TORONTO -- The Canadian Auto Workers union has given a proposal to Ford Motor Co. that could keep an Ontario plant open and have a nearby facility built to supply cars to the automaker, the union's president said today.
According to CAW President Buzz Hargrove, the blueprint would have Ford Canada keep its St. Thomas, Ontario, plant open, while auto parts maker Magna International builds a facility close by and makes cars for Ford.
Ford, which is faced with rising costs on top of a shrinking market share, has said it would accelerate its turnaround plan, dubbed "Way Forward," to respond to weakening demand for fuel-hungry trucks and SUVs amid high gasoline prices.
"The 'Way Forward' plan of Ford included a plan to build a new plant for low-cost, entry-level vehicles, so we put together a proposal that would put Canada in the running with the United States and Mexico," Hargrove told Reuters. "We didn't want to wait. In today's environment we have to be more more aggressive in terms of pursuing these kinds of opportunities."
Earlier this year, Ford said jobs at the St. Thomas plant, which employs 2,578, would be cut as part of the automaker's plan to slash 30,000 positions and shed more than a quarter of its production in North America.
The assembly plant in St. Thomas opened in 1967 and has produced the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis since 1984.
Hargrove said he did not talk about specific support from the Ontario government but said they were "very keen and interested." He also said Magna Chairman Frank Stronach also expressed an interest in the project.
General Motors of Canada workers in Oshawa, Ontario, also members of the CAW, agreed earlier this year to 2,500 early retirements in a bid to trim costs and help win production of the latest version of the Chevrolet Camaro.
One of GM's two car-assembly plants in Oshawa was due to close in 2008. Under the automaker's plan to relaunch the Camaro, announced last week, the plant will now remain open and get a $667 million (Canadian $740 million) makeover, saving roughly 2,700 jobs.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....