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Windsor workers respond to Nemak auto parts plant closure announcement

August 11, 2019 - 12:00 AM

WINDSOR–Unifor members at Nemak of Canada Corporation in Windsor gathered for a special membership meeting today to respond to the company’s plans to close the plant in 2020.

“Nemak cannot shut down its Windsor plant after taking millions in government handouts and posting revenues of over $4 billion world-wide,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This is a betrayal of both the workers who generated their profits and the public they siphoned millions from.”

Since 2015, Nemak received generous handouts from several government sources including a $1.5 million grant from the government of Ontario, $1.3 million in tax breaks from the city of Windsor, and $3 million in federal government funds.

“Nemak is breaking an agreement with the workers to keep this plant open until at least 2022,” said John D’Agnolo, Unifor Local 200 President. “Canadians funded this company, Nemak workers built its production process, and Unifor will fight this closure.”

The closure announcement comes after Nemak reached a four-year extension to the Unifor Local 200 collective agreement through to 2022 that included a four-year wage freeze.

The employer and Unifor agreed that the Windsor plant would be the sole source for General Motors I-6 engine blocks and engine blocks and bedplates for the ‘Thelma and Louise’ Corvette.

In direct contravention of this agreement, the company announced it will move production of the I-6 diesel engine block, the Corvette engine block and bedplate to as well as begin building Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FAC) engine blocks at its facilities in Monterey, Mexico.

Both product lines will use the production process and technology developed at the Nemak Windsor production facility.

Unifor has requested a meeting with Nemak CEO Armando Tamez Martinez. To date, no response has been received.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or (cell) 416-575-7453.