Toronto, Ontario — August 7, 2019 — The news came in mid-July. Nemak, a Mexico-based auto part manufacturing company would be closing their plant in Windsor Ont., – a plant that employs more than 270 people.
“Given our outlook on capacity utilization and volumes in Windsor, we have made the decision to end production at this facility,” stated Armando Tamez, CEO of Nemak on July 16. “We are deeply grateful to the many people who have contributed to our business in Windsor over the years,”
Despite Nemak and the Canadian government’s multi-million investments in the plant in the past few years, creating an estimated extra 150 jobs, Namek has decided to close the plant as it represents approximately one percent of the company’s consolidated revenues.
According to Nemak, the majority of engine parts produced in the Windsor facility are destined for Cadillac vehicles at GM’s Shanghai plant, however, the need for them has dropped dramatically, thus slowing the need for production.
“[Nemak was] hoping that the Chinese economy would turn around,” Unifor Local 200 president John D’Agnolo told CBC. “But as of right now, it has not.”
D’Angolo met with Nemak the day of their announcement and says that Windsor plant’s production is currently at 25 percent, but will likely drop to less than 10 percent by 2020. However, D’Angolo hopes to fight to keep the plant open, allowing the employees to keep their jobs and continue production in the area.
“You never know when it comes to bargaining. When we all have to sit down with them and we’ll have a lot of discussions,” stated D’Angolo.
D’Angolo said that the closing came as a shock to Unifor but it wasn’t just the trade union that was surprised by the news.
It was reported that many employees were also shocked by the closing, and despite being aware that the exportation of products to Shanghai’s GM was flopping, workers believed there would be more in store for them.
“The base plant is where we make the blocks for China and that’s done, we all knew that was done,” reported employee Cameron Doig. “But we thought that we were going to be keeping these more precise blocks that are for the American market.”
While both employees and Nemak struggle to adjust to these new changes, Nemak has promised that it will keep the soon-to-be laid-off employees in mind.
“We will make every effort to support them during this period,” stated Nemak.
For more information on Nemak and the status of their Windsor plant, visit nemak.com