Unifor 444 president calls for government action on supply chain issues

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The ongoing global microchip shortage has dominated headlines this year, and it has impacted production for the entirety of the automotive industry.

This a big issue in Windsor-Essex, and Unifor 444 president Dave Cassidy says they're working hard to get their members back to work.

Cassidy says the microchip issue in particular though, is out of their hands, so he's hoping those who can help will do something.

"I'm hoping that the federal and provincial governments are paying attention to what's going on here with our supply chain. It is so imperative that we make sure that we can build here in Ontario. We have all the expertise, we have all the talent, we can build anything here and we got to continue to do that and continue to push that," Cassidy said.

It's a bigger deal than just building vehicles too, it's a broader supply chain issue that has many far reaching impacts on numerous other industries.

"I mean listen, it's almost as if we can't even get anything these days," he continued. "If somebody wants to get any type of goods and services it becomes a problem. It's not just a microchip issue, it's everything."

Cassidy says the supply chain issues are a big factor on local jobs.

"The big house at Fiat Chrysler over here employs 4,500 people on the two shifts. And the trickle down from there which is one in ten jobs when we look at it. We don't have as many people going to restaurants, we don't have as many people going to the casino, we don't have people spending that purchasing power that they do have."

Without some sort of government action, experts believe due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and continuing high demand for products requiring microchips to function that the shortage is still quite a ways from ending.

- with files from the Canadian Press