October 3, 2006

CAW holds town hall meeting on future of Ford jobs

Windsor, Ontario – More than 2,500 members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and concerned members from the community gathered on Sunday, October 1 for a town hall meeting in Windsor, Ontario to discuss the future of jobs at Ford. CAW president Buzz Hargrove, local CAW officials, and federal, provincial and municipal politicians spoke about the issues facing members of the union’s Local 200.

The meeting came just over a week after CAW national and local leadership met with federal, provincial and city politicians following Ford’s announcement that the area’s Essex Engine plant will shut down, eliminating 650 jobs.

Hargrove attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper for refusing to meet with the CAW on the issue; he also called on the federal government to drop its plans for a free trade deal with South Korea, which Hargrove says will result in the loss of domestic automaker share to Korean and Japanese manufacturers, whose countries do not allow similar access to North American vehicles in their markets.

Hargrove also reminded those present at the meeting to build support for the introduction of a new Ford product in the community, and mentioned that the Edge, one of the first new vehicles in the company’s plan for a turnaround, will be built in Oakville, Ontario. CAW Local 200 president Mike Vince said that over the last 30 years, after each downturn in the auto economy, Ford has returned to Windsor with new investments and products.

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