WINDSOR, ON, May 13, 2023 /CNW/ – Unifor is calling on the federal government and Stellantis to deliver on commitments to a new Windsor EV battery plant to safeguard Canadian auto manufacturing jobs.
“Government and Stellantis are playing a high-stakes game that is betting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Canadian autoworkers. Commitments were made and Unifor and our members fully expect that all parties live up to them. Any brinkmanship must end, and a deal must be reached because come hell or high water no promised manufacturing jobs are leaving this country,” warned Unifor National President Lana Payne.
The Toronto Star reports there are fears that Stellantis may pull out of the EV battery plant currently under construction in Windsor, ON if the federal government fails to match the investment level provided to the Volkswagen electric-vehicle battery gigafactory in St. Thomas, ON. Unifor maintains that government investment is necessary to attract and secure Canada’s future auto manufacturing footprint.
“The shift to electric vehicles has created a fiercely competitive environment, as evidenced by the IRA incentives in the U.S., with jurisdictions around the world vying for these highly sought after jobs. These plants will anchor the communities that they are built in for generations to come,” said Payne.
The last federal budget stated ‘… without swift action, the sheer scale of U.S. incentives will undermine Canada’s ability to attract the investments needed to establish Canada as a leader in the growing and highly competitive global clean economy. If Canada does not keep pace, we will be left behind. If we are left behind, it will mean less investment in our communities, and fewer jobs for an entire generation of Canadians. We will not be left behind.’
“Unifor and our members will hold the government to its word not to leave workers behind just as we will hold Stellantis to the company’s promises in Windsor,” Payne said.
Unifor previously unveiled its set of 29 recommendations for governments and automakers in its auto policy document, Navigating the Road Ahead: Rebuilding Canada’s powerhouse auto sector. The union will enter negotiations with Detroit Three automakers later this year.