Voting on the Future of Windsor Assembly Plant Underway

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Voting on a new three-year deal between Unifor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada (FCA) is underway.

The union released more details on what FCA's $1.5-billion investment means for workers at Windsor Assembly Plant as voting began Sunday.

Local 444 President Dave Cassidy tells AM800 News the deal includes improved benefits, a pay increase and a signing bonus.

But the addition of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and a battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform by 2024 will ensure Windsor Assembly Plant is viable for years to come.

"So we'll be building the existing Pacifica ... and they're going to be adding either a car, an SUV or a truck," he says. "We could build multiple vehicles going down that new platform."

The platform will hinge on government support for electric-vehicle development, but Cassidy says he's already received personal assurances that will happen from Premier Doug Ford.

"The provincial government will be on board. I know Jerry (Diaz) has spoken to the feds and the province and they're all on board as they were with Ford Motor Company," Cassidy added.

Cassidy says it won't happen overnight, but 1,500 jobs is the biggest selling point of the deal.

"Once the new platform is put in prior to the end of the expiration of the collective agreement, by 2024 we will have the three shifts reinstated at Windsor Assembly Plant," he says. "Everybody who's on layoff, plus 1,000 more jobs."

Cassidy says the deal would make Windsor Assembly Plant the only production facility in Canada to produce both internal combustion and electric vehicles.

Results are expected to come in before 12 p.m. Monday.

A full overview of the agreement is posted on Unifor Local 444's website.