Fiat Chrysler to invest in electric auto producton in Canada

Daniel Fowler
October 17, 2020

In September, Unifor reached a three-year deal with Ford Motor Co., which included almost C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) in investments - including C$590 million in government subsidies - that will go toward producing battery-powered electric vehicles at the company's assembly plant in Oakville, a suburban town west of Toronto.

Talking point: This is the second major electric-vehicle investment in Canada announced by one of the Big Three automakers this fall; Ford Motors recently announced it would be investing $1.8 billion, alongside the provincial and federal government, to turn its Oakville plant into an EV manufacturing hub.

FCA will be supplying the majority of the financial investment, but Dias said the company is still in talks with both the province and Ottawa for some financial support.

He expects jobs to rise by over 2,000 more than exists in the Windsor Assembly Plant today, including 425 jobs that are now on layoff. Unifor members working at Ford Motor Co.

"The lion's share of (the investment) will be coming from Fiat Chrysler", Dias said.

Dias said there are three new products in the works, which are expected to lead to the recall of more than 100 workers.

Additionally, the headcount at Fiat Chrysler in Canada is expected to grow by almost 2,000 as a result of the new platform, with workers starting to come on board in 2023.

2020 Chrysler 300

Earlier this year, the Windsor plant lost its third shift causing 1,500 workers to be laid off.

Also included in the new agreement with FCA is a commitment for a $50 million investment in the company's Brampton assembly plant, which the union says will "extend the life" of Chrysler 300 production and introduce "multiple derivatives" of the Dodge Charger and Challenger that are built there.

The details of the tentative agreement will be presented to Unifor members during a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend.

Unifor went into this year's negotiations with concerns about restoring the third shift at Fiat Chrysler's Windsor and Brampton facilities.

The union said FCA was challenging the union on key elements of the pattern agreement, reached with Ford, including wages and lump sum payments, health care benefits and other matters.

Unifor President Jerry Dias was in direct contact with FCA executives to get a deal done.

FCA Canada said only that it has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor on a new contract.

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