Unifor blocks Windsor Assembly Plant gate over contractor dispute

·1 min read

Unifor members have blocked a gate to the Windsor Assembly Plant over a dispute involving a contractor.

Unifor Local 444 members are demonstrating at the Vimy Avenue entrance because they want to continue to represent the group of workers who drive the newly built vans away from the plant ahead of shipment.

Previously, the workers were employees of Automotive Warehouse Company, who were represented by Unifor.

The contract for the service was taken over by Motipark, a subsidiary of the Essex Terminal Railway Company, on Jan. 1 after a bidding process last year.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, said Unifor should have first rights to represent the workers. Unifor has filed an application under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.

Cassidy said MotiPark has indicated to him that the workers will be represented by the Teamsters Union.

A notice on the Teamsters Local 879 website posted on New Year's Eve says a collective agreement was reached with a group of workers driving vehicles at the FCA plant.

Dale Molnar/CBC
Dale Molnar/CBC

CBC News has reached out to MotiPark for comment.

Meanwhile, the union intends to stay put outside the plant until the situation is addressed, Cassidy said.

"There's a lot of moving moving parts to this whole situation and until we can get resolve here, nothing's coming in or nothing's going out," Cassidy said.

The plant is on a layoff week but workers are expected to return Monday.

"If this isn't resolved by Monday then the Windsor Assembly Plant will not be running," Cassidy said.

FCA declined to comment on the blockade.