According to the union’s president Jerry Dias, the second-largest US automaker decided to discard a proposal to further invest more money into factories in the Windsor, Ontario, region.
Instead, the carmaker would send the cash to Mexico as it was originally considering, a massive hit for the Windsor operation. The Unifor official claims the successful bid to make a new investment in the region would have secured the facilities future for a decade – with a new engine program being developed there.
A statement coming from the largest Canadian union claimed the investment could have led to the creation of 1,000 new jobs in Windsor, which is a Canadian auto manufacturing hub situated just across the border from Detroit. According to media news reports coming from the Globe and Mail, the proposed investment for the engine program, now heading down South to Mexico, should have been of around 2 billion Canadian dollars ($1.8 billion).
Ford declined to comment the investment for competitive reasons, but according to a spokesman for Canadian Industry Minister James Moore, the company approached the federal and provincial officials to discuss potential funding to support the investment.
Mexico has emerged in recent years as a primary contender for automakers looking to establish new production facilities in the NAFTA region, thanks to cheap labor and a host of commercial agreements with many countries around the world. Canadian unions instead argue that its autoworkers have more experience and are better skilled, with the cost of upgrading an existing facility from Windsoer far lower than building a new factory from scratch.