Windsor auto parts workers defy Unifor and strike


Fiat-Chrysler minivan plant impacted

Windsor auto parts workers defy Unifor and strike

Carl Bronski and Shannon Jones

10 March 2018

By a resounding 62 percent, three hundred auto parts workers at Windsor, Ontario’s ZF-TRW facility on Thursday night rejected a contract “pattern” offer recommended by Unifor. Picket lines were set up by early Friday morning. The impact was felt within hours at the giant Fiat-Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant that produces the Pacifica minivan and the Dodge Grand Caravan.

After very limited production on Friday, Fiat-Chrysler announced that all Saturday production would be shutdown, idling over 6,000 autoworkers at the facility until further notice.

The vote is a further indication of a mood of rebellion in the working class that found its expression in recent weeks in the state-wide walkout by more than 30,000 West Virginia teachers and public employees and the movement toward strike action by teachers in Oklahoma and other states. After decades of concessions workers are determined to take a stand against a further decline in living condtions.

Picket line at ZF TRW in Windsor

On Thursday, Unifor conducted contract ratification votes for workers at three other parts suppliers that also feed Windsor Assembly. Avancez and Dakkota workers voted 78 percent to accept the new contract. HBPO workers ratified the deal by a narrow 56 percent. Last weekend, Dakkota and HBPO struck briefly when their contracts expired before Unifor and the respective company managements agreed to a tentative settlement that shut down the job actions before Fiat-Chrysler production could be affected.

ZF-TRW makes transmission systems, front and rear components, chassis systems, electronics, sensors and safety technology. The workers sub-assemble shocks,…

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