Windsor Assembly Plant Workers to Hold Virtual Strike Vote at Midnight


Workers at Windsor Assembly Plant are set to vote on a strike mandate, but the union hall will be empty.

More than 6,400 members will vote on whether or not to give Unifor Local 444 the legal right to strike virtually Sunday from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

Local President Dave Cassidy says it's going to be a first for the union.

"This is different. We usually meet with our members, talk with our members and we have a lot of face to face meetings, but because of COVID-19 we can't do that," says Cassidy.

Cassidy expects a ratification vote will still need to be held online.

"Instantaneously we'll have the results from it, but it's just a different world. Even when we do get a deal in place, and we will get a deal in place, then we'll have to ratify it the same way, electronically," he added.

With a lot of new faces in the plant, Cassidy made sure everyone understands a strike mandate doesn't mean there will be a job action.

"We've explained it enough, put communications in the facilities. Me and the plant chair spoke yesterday because there is some turmoil inside the plant with all the job changes," says Cassidy. "We have around 500 workers on lay off."

Cassidy says the current collective agreement expires just before midnight on Sept. 21.

He says getting another vehicle in production at the plant will be a major focus.

Talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Canada are set to begin Monday in Toronto.