Windsor, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) is urging Daimler to keep its Sterling Truck Plant open in St. Thomas, Ontario. CAW president Ken Lewenza met with Daimler executives over the company’s announced closure of the St. Thomas plant, along with a plant in Oregon, with the discontinuation of the Sterling brand. The company has also announced that its Cascadia truck will be built in Saltillo, Mexico, a plant which Lewenza said was originally intended as an overflow facility.
Lewenza said the workers remain committed to building medium- and heavy-duty trucks, whatever the brand, and said that although the company executives outlined their rationale for cancelling the Sterling brand and closing the Ontario plant, these are two entirely separate issues.
“Our members in St. Thomas are not tied to producing any particular name brand,” Lewenza said. “They built high-quality medium- and heavy-duty trucks. They built Freightliners for six years and more recently built Sterlings. Clearly, they are skilled enough to build any brand in the future.”
Lewenza said that Daimler will continue building trucks for the North American market and has a responsibility to preserve a Canadian manufacturing presence as part of its overall continental operations.