December 11, 2007

CAW continues to fight to save Ford plant in St. Thomas, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) is continuing its fight to save the Ford car assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. In a statement, the union said that despite a story in the Detroit News on the weekend, it has received no indication that Ford has decided to close the plant.

The plant is currently operating on one shift of production, as a result of Ford’s shrinking market share in North American vehicle sales. It currently produces the Ford Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis for fleet sales, and will begin production of the Lincoln Town Car in the coming months.

CAW President Buzz Hargrove warned that one-shift assembly plants face an uphill struggle for survival, since operating costs are higher per unit of output than in two- or three-shift facilities, but said that the plant is still operating profitably. “We are absolutely determined to do everything we can as a union to save this plant by winning new investment and product commitments,” he said. He pledged to make the plant’s future a major issue in next year’s contract talks between the CAW and Ford, and called on the company to work with the union, federal and provincial governments on a strategy to revitalize the plant with new technology and product plans.

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