The president of Unifor Local 444 is in Ottawa to talk about Windsor’s automotive industry.
Dave Cassidy was invited to Parliament Hill to address the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology during a meeting Monday morning.
Cassidy says the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) will likely dominate the conversation, which he calls a “non-partisan issue.”
“Every party has to rally around a Canadian auto industry,” he says. “They can use CUSMA to implement and double down on their efforts to craft some kind of a national auto strategy,” he says.
Shop floor of the FCA Canada Windsor Assembly Plant, October 5, 2018 (by AM800’s Peter Langille)
Cassidy also plans to make sure the committee knows how much cutting a third shift at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant will hurt the region.
“I just need to hammer home that Windsor, we have 6,000 plus workers, we have potential loss of the third shift and what it means to Windsor-Essex around the whole economy,” he says.
The elimination of the third shift was to take effect at the end of September 2019, but FCA has given several extensions since with the end date now set for March 31, 2020. The move would result in the elimination of 1,500 direct jobs.
The company has said it will review the business case for maintaining the shift on a month-to-month basis going forward.
Cassidy hopes his presentation will spur future discussion.
“I’m hoping that this committee undertakes a detailed study of the future of auto production in Canada and what’s needed,” adds Cassidy.