June 30, 2004

Ford Oakville truck plant closes

Toronto, Ontario – After 39 years and 4 million pick-up trucks, Ford’s Oakville truck plant closed on June 28th.

The Oakville plant went into production in 1966, following the implementation of the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, which mandated auto producers to build vehicles and parts equal to the value of their vehicles sold in Canada.

The plant went from a two-shift operation with 2,100 members to one shift with 1,200 members in 1993. Shortly after a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision that dismantled the Auto Pact, Ford announced it would close the truck plant.

“We’ve done everything under the sun to work with the company to maintain quality and efficiency, but still the decision was made. This decision had nothing to do with the workforce – this was a political decision. It was no coincidence – the closing announcement followed the end of the Auto Pact,” said CAW Plant Chairperson Pat Carducci. “The federal government still has a chance to save jobs here by working with Ford and the provincial government to bring a new flexible manufacturing facility to Oakville.”

About 700 workers have accepted early retirement packages and some 500 will transfer to the adjacent Freestar minivan plant.

On May 16, CAW Local 707 members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new local operating agreement, which was needed to help secure investment in a new state of the art flexible manufacturing facility in Oakville.

“The CAW has agreed to major changes approved by our membership in an effort to obtain this important billion dollar investment in this state of the art, flexible manufacturing facility,” said Hargrove. “What is now needed is the support of the provincial and federal governments. We urge them to act immediately to ensure the future of the 4,000 jobs in Oakville.”

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