Windsor Assembly Plant Workers Prepare for Possible Strike


Workers at Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

As you've been hearing on AM800 News, negotiations between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Canada "are not quite where they should be" with only days left before a strike deadline, according to Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy.

About half a dozen workers gathered Tuesday morning to start assembling signs, should members end up going on strike.

Strike Captain, Shawn Bezaire tells AM800 News, morale isn't the greatest.

"We're just coming out of losing the third shift in July and now we're in contract [talks], we have 530 members roughly that are on indefinite layoff because of the third shift going away so, morale is not at its best at this moment, no."

Bezaire says if a deal isn't reached, workers are ready to hit the picket line.

"Every rep within the facility is coming up with a list of members, basically we call it flying squads, so if we do go out those flying squads will be stationed at 11 or 12 different gates at our facility to get us through the first week and then we'll schedule the rest of the members in moving forward," he says. Adding, he's asking members to stay positive.

"I know it's frustrating and nervous times going through this but have faith in our bargaining committee that's up in Toronto and they're going to hopefully bring us home the pattern agreement, obviously they're not going to come home without it, and future investment because we need it within our facility, no doubt."

The deadline for a tentative deal is set for 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 14.

Ford was first to strike a deal with Unifor - establishing the pattern for negotiations with FCA and General Motors.

That Ford deal saw close to $2-billion invested in the future of Oakville Assembly Plant and a new product on the way for the Windsor Engine Plant in 2022.