VIDEO: Nemak Workers Ignore Back to Work Order

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The blockade at the Nemak plant in west Windsor continues.

The company had sent out a directive Wednesday afternoon ordering employees back to work at 11pm to resume production for the midnight shift, but management was a no show.

The 270 employees are represented by Unifor Local 200.

Union president John D'Agnolo says members aren't going anywhere until the company agrees to return to the bargaining table.

He says he's heard nothing from the company officials.

"I don't know if I'm changing their mind. All I can tell you is this, we're going to do what we can to fight for this membership and keep the product here in Canada. I don't want to see it go to Mexico. These workers have done everything they can to make millions of dollars for this company and we need to keep this product here."

D'Agnolo wants to thank the hundreds of fellow union members who showed up to protest.

"It's the Unifor family. We had the CUPE family here. We're all in it together, especially in this community where we've seen a lot of job loss in manufacturing. Community support too, I've talked to some people from Toronto that called down and supported. We've had restaurants deliver food to us. It's been outstanding."

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Unifor Local 200 president John D'Agnolo speaking about the Nemak protest on September 4, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

He says the last thing they want is management entering the plant.

"My worry is that they would try and figure out a way to get the product out and that's my worst fear. It's basically been. "We're going to move the product because we'll make a lot of profits in Mexico," and we cannot compete. We cannot compete with Mexico."

On Wednesday, the Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a ruling calling for the removal of the blockade — that order has been ignored.

Workers walked off the job Labour Day Monday to protest the Mexican-owned company's plan to close the plant in mid-2020.

An agreement signed between the company and union in 2016 indicated the plant would remain open until 2022.