St. Thomas, Ontario – Representatives of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and all three levels of government have met and planned a collaborative effort to convince Daimler Trucks to keep its Sterling Truck Plant in St. Thomas, Ontario up and running. Last week, the automaker announced that it would discontinue the brand and close the plant, along with a similar plant in Oregon, and move other brands of truck production to Mexico.
The meeting was chaired by St. Thomas mayor Cliff Barwick, and was attended by Joe Preston, Conservative MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London; Steve Peters, Liberal MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London; officials from the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation; CAW national president Ken Lewenza; Sterling Truck Plant chair David MacArthur; and CAW Local 1001 president Dave Elliot. All stakeholders are working together to build a convincing business case to keep the plant open, and CAW leadership will meet with Daimler officials on Tuesday in Windsor, Ontario.
Preston said that federal funds could be made available for retooling the plant through the Automotive Innovation Fund and Community Development Trust Fund, and drew an analogy to Ford’s Windsor Essex Engine Plant, which recently received $80 million in federal money from the fund.