Nemak will pursue an application with the Ontario Labor Relations Board to cease Unifor’s blockade, according to a statement from the company.
The statement issued Tuesday also says Nemak is disappointed that Unifor decided to organize an illegal stoppage to their operations.
“Since the announcement of the plant closure on July 16, the company’s leadership has been in constant contact with the union officials, actively working to create a transition plan for employees,” said the statement.
Nemak said it is in favor of re-establishing a constructive dialog with its employees and their representatives.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias said Monday the union is taking over the factory by establishing blockades at two entrances into the facility and won’t be leaving until its collective agreement is honoured.
“Nemak cannot get away with betraying its workers or Canadians simply because they are motivated by corporate greed,” said Dias. "They can't take millions in government handouts one day and then desert their loyal workforce and the community of Windsor the next.”
Since 2015, Nemak received close to $5 million from the provincial and federal governments.
Both entrances have been barricaded with cars and union members while factory doors and equipment inside have been chained.
“Nemak signed an agreement with us to keep this plant open until at least 2022,” said John D’Agnolo, Unifor Local 200 President. “We expect nothing less than for them to keep their word.”
The Mexican-owned aluminum casting plant, which builds engine blocks for General Motors, is expected to close in June 2020, putting 270 people out of work.
Unifor leadership met with Nemak CEO Armando Tamez Martinez last week in Monterey, Mexico but talks were unproductive.