VIDEO: A Major Investment for Windsor Assembly Plant

Unifor is reporting Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will invest $355-million in the Windsor Assembly Plant.

The news follows a meeting Wednesday between FCA executives and members of Unifor, including national president Jerry Dias.

Speaking on AM800's The Afternoon News, Dias says "They told us today (Wednesday) they're going to invest over $350-million in the Windsor Assembly plant in the next 12 months which is great news. That's over and above the $2-billion that they spent a few years ago so this is a company that's looking to maximize their investment and they're very specific that the $350-million dollars was going to be for future product."

Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy says “the company has committed to $355 million in investments to the Windsor Assembly Plant to further enhance FCA’s long term commitment to our facility.”

The money is expected to help attract a new product to the Windsor plant.

Local 444 Update from Dave Cassidy's Facebook Page:

Today, Local 444 President and Unifor Skilled Trades Council Chairperson Dave Cassidy, Local 444 Secretary -Treasurer & FCA Council Chairperson James Stewart and WAP Chairperson Tony Greco, along with National Leadership including Jerry Dias met with the top management of FCA in Toronto. This was the first high level meeting with FCA since we received official notice on the loss of the third shift. We had a very open and frank discussion with the company about the importance of maintaining the third shift at WAP understanding that our members have done everything expected of them from building a world class, top quality product to becoming the number one asset in the FCA portfolio. The company has asked for further meetings as we continue through this process. The company has committed to $355 million in investments to the Windsor Assembly Plant to further enhance FCA’s long term commitment to our facility. Nothing has changed with regard to the notice but we will continue fighting for our members and community until we have a resolve.

But Cassidy says “nothing has changed with regard to the notice but we will continue fighting for our members and community until we have a resolve.”

That means FCA will continue with its plan to eliminate the third production shift at WAP at the end of September, putting 1,500 employees out of work, “in order to better align production with global demand.”

Sales of the Pacifica this year are down 54 per cent in Canada through February and 24 per cent in the U.S. Sales of the Grand Caravan are down more than 20 per cent in both countries over the same period. Both minivans are built at Windsor Assembly.

Unifor represents the more than 6,000 employees who work at the Windsor Assembly Plant, plus hundreds more who work at automotive parts plants who will also be affected by FCA’s move.

Cassidy says Wednesday’s meeting was “the first high level meeting with FCA since we received official notice on the loss of the third shift.

Cassidy adds the company has asked for further meetings, and the union is going to explore options with FCA to maintain jobs at the plant that are threatened by plans to reduce production.

FCA says it is not commenting on the meeting.

The Windsor Assembly Plant underwent a $1-billion retooling in 2015 to start building the Chrysler Pacifica.

When operating at full volume, the Windsor plant produces nearly 1,500 minivans per day.