Unifor insists Nemak must keep its Windsor plant open until the current labor contract expires in 2022. Nemak wants to shutter the engine-block factory in mid-2020 because, by then, only 10 percent of the plant’s capacity will be in use.
About 700 workers of the 1,100 at the St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, which supplies V6 and V8 engines to assembly plants in the United States, have been told to stay home this week. Unifor says 5,000 workers, including those at supply plants, in Canada have been put on leave due to the strike.
Unifor says the wildcat strike at Nemak, a subsidiary of Mexico-based Alfa, will continue until further notice. The decision flies in the face of Ontario Superior Court Justice Terrance Patterson, who on Friday fined the union C$75,000 ($56,000 USD).
Unifor officials at both the national and local level declined to say what they intend to do next, beyond reviewing the ruling at a meeting Saturday. Union members walked off the job at Nemak in Windsor, Canada, on Labor Day, protesting the company's decision to close the plant.
Unifor President Jerry Dias accuses Nemak of not adhering to a collective agreement at the company's Canada plant, which supplies GM engine blocks. Union members stopped working on Labor Day because Nemak plans to close the factory in mid-2020.
The strike at the Canada plant that supplies engine blocks for the Chevrolet Silverado diesel pickup is now more than a week old. Unifor is trying to stage a 3,000-person rally Tuesday on a vacant lot adjacent to the plant, a union spokesman said.
Unifor members erected barricades and turned management away at the gate, effectively stopping production of engine blocks destined for GM vehicles. The protest is in response to Nemak's decision to close the plant in Windsor, Ont., in mid-2020.