DETROIT – Chrysler Group LLC is temporarily cutting output and adopting rotating layoffs at a minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, because of a shortage of engines that are built across the U.S.-Canadian border in suburban Detroit.
Jodi Tinson, spokeswoman for Chrysler, said the component shortage has prompted the company to run two shifts rather than three at the minivan plant.
The Windsor Star reported that Chrysler Canada has canceled the midnight shift at the minivan for the week of Oct. 24, according to Dino Chiodo, first vice president of CAW Local 444.
The plant's afternoon shift will be canceled during the week of Nov. 7, and the day shift will be canceled the week of Nov. 14.
The change is not expected to affect skilled trades workers.
Chrysler did not disclose further details about the reduction in minivan output, but CAW officials cited a shortage of engines built at a company plant in Trenton, Mich.
Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, told The Windsor Star that Chrysler has been struggling to produce enough Pentastar V-6 engines at its Trenton, Mich. plant.
He told the paper the company was diverting engines to assembly plants building vehicles in high demand.
The Windsor factory employs about 4,800 people and builds Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans, as well as the Volkswagen Routan.
On Thursday, one of the three locals representing workers at the Trenton, Mich., plant that supplies Windsor voted against ratification of a four-year contract between the UAW and Chrysler.
The Wall Street Journal reported that workers at that plant, as well as at Chrysler's other engine manufacturing plant in Dundee, Mich., are upset over new work schedules. Workers feel the new work rules threatened quality and safety, the paper said.
Chrysler has said it is looking into the situation but is still awaiting the outcome of a vote on the tentative, four-year contract with the UAW, according to the Journal.