Federal Funding for Essex Engine Plant Welcome, But Long Overdue, CAW Says



    TORONTO, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - The federal government's announcement of funding
for Ford's Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario today is a relief for
concerned workers and families, but is long overdue, the CAW says.
    CAW members and retirees have been calling for months for the federal
government to provide financial help to reopen the plant. The Ontario Liberals
have already agreed to provide a significant commitment to the project with
the goal of securing a new engine for the plant that was idled.
    This decision by the Ontario government was critical to ensuring Ford
move ahead with a new product.
    "This is good news for the Essex Engine Plant and for the City of
Windsor, but the delay in securing this important federal funding has been
frustrating and stressful for everyone involved," said Mike Vince, president
of CAW Local 200. He said members are sceptical given the timing of this
announcement with a federal election call on the horizon.
    He said members approved a new operating agreement that will provide
hundreds of millions of dollars in saving over the life of the project back in
the spring of 2007. He said the province has supported the project from the
start.
    Vince stressed with the many job losses, closures and cutbacks across the
entire manufacturing sector in Canada there are many thousands more workers
who face a bleak future. The high value Canadian dollar, unfair federal trade
agreements and the lack of action from the federal government has fed a
growing crisis in the manufacturing sector.
    "We need a federal government that's willing to take immediate steps
including the establishment of a manufacturing policy to stop the ongoing cuts
and closures affecting so many workers," Vince said.
    CAW President Buzz Hargrove said it's clear the upcoming federal election
finally prompted action from the federal government.
    "It's no secret that we've been frustrated by the lack of action,
especially from the federal level, as the crisis in the industry got worse and
worse -- as we lost tens of thousands of high-productivity jobs and as we lost
tens of billions of dollars of exports," Hargrove said.
    "Our members work extremely hard to help create a strong industry, but
those efforts alone can't offset the damage from an overvalued Canadian dollar
and from one-way, unfair trade," Hargrove said. "Our federal government must
be an active part of the solution."




For further information:

For further information: contact CAW Local 200 President Mike Vince,
cell, (519) 965-2558

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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