November 21, 2007

CAW blames federal government for job losses at Ontario parts supplier

Windsor, Ontario – The news that auto parts maker Lear Corporation is closing its Windsor, Ontario plant, with a loss of more than 160 jobs, is another tough blow for workers and a community already reeling from high unemployment, said Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) president Buzz Hargrove.

“Lear’s announcement today is another example of the devastating closures that continue to rip through the auto parts, auto assembly and manufacturing sectors,” Hargrove said. “The Harper government’s refusal to take action on unfair trade agreements and the high value of the Canadian dollar is causing severe hardship for thousands of Canadian workers, their families, many communities and especially Windsor, which has the highest unemployment rate of any major Canadian city.”

Hargrove said that auto imports from Korea, Japan and the European community continue to take market share away from North American automakers at a time when North American manufacturers are refused the same access into those markets. He is calling on the Prime Minister to take four immediate steps: withdraw immediately from negotiations with the government of South Korea for a free trade agreement; give notice to the governments of Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union that Canada will not tolerate the one-way inflow of automotive imports; work with the Bank of Canada to reduce interest rates and signal to currency markets that the dollar’s current levels are undesirable and unsustainable; and act immediately with other auto stakeholders to develop and implement an auto strategy for Canada that would include support for new investments, infrastructure, skills and other essential features.

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