Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 3

* APRIL 2023
3
SECOND FRONT
24/7 DIGITAL
HEADQUARTERS
Battery pack
assembly
Ford outlines
Ford outlines
$1.8 billion
retooling of
Plans include
consolidating three
existing body shops and
adding a battery pack
assembly building
By DAVID KENNEDY
T ORONTO BUREAU CHIEF
FORD MOTOR CO., WILL BEGIN
a $1.8 billion retooling project at the
Oakville Assembly Complex in the second
quarter of next year, furloughing
a large number of production staff for
about six months as it prepares the
Toronto-area plant to build battery-electric
vehicles by the start of 2025.
Preparations for the retrofit work
that will begin in " less than a year " are
already under way, as Ford readies the
Oakville plant for the electric era, said
Bev Goodman, CEO of Ford of Canada
in a conference April 11 ahead of the
announcement.
Ford said salaried and skilled trades
employees, as well as some production
staff will remain on the job during the
six-month retooling project. An undisclosed
number of salaried staff will be
furloughed by mid-2024, but are scheduled
to return to work by the end of the
year.
The plant employs about 3,000 workFinal
assembly
Body
Oakville
Assembly
ers today, most of them members of
Unifor Local 707, building the Ford
Edge and Lincoln Nautilus tall wagons.
The company expects little change to
staffing levels at the facility once EV
production begins.
SHORTER DOWNTIME THAN EXPECTED
Marc Brennan, Local 707 chairperson
for the plant, told Automotive News
Canada that the retooling timeline provides
certainty to union members, who
can now plan accordingly.
Goodman:
The
plant
retrofit will
begin in
" less than
a year. "
FILE PHOTO
The relatively short
amount of downtime
also came as a relief to
Unifor, which was told
the plant retrofit could
last up to 16 months
when it negotiated for
the $1.8 billion investment
in 2020, Brennan
said.
" For them to compress
the retooling period
down to about six
months is definitely
welcome news for our members, especially
with the amount of downtime
they've already incurred over the past
three years. "
The company and union have not yet
determined the number of hourly workers
that will remain in the plant during
the retooling process.
TRANS-CANADA NEWS 5,000 KILOMETRES
OF STORIES
GM, Tesla supplier
votes to unionize
LONDON, ONT. -
Unifor has added another
parts plant to its
growing roster of automotive
workplaces
following a unionization
vote at Sodecia
Automotive London
Inc.
About 150 hourly
staff at the stamping
facility, which builds
parts for General
Motors, Tesla and
other automakers,
cast ballots Feb. 23-24.
The Ontario Labour
Relations Board certified
the results March
20, confirming employees
at the plant had
voted to join Unifor,
the union said, though
it would not specify
what percentage
of workers voted in
favour.
The certification
followed a yearlong
union drive at
the plant, owned by
Portugal-based Sodecia
S.A., and builds on
another recent successful
unionization
effort at seatbelt manufacturer
TRQSS Inc.
in Windsor, Ont.
" Momentum is
growing across the sector
to join our union
as workers look to
secure a better future
for themselves, their
families and their
communities, " Unifor
President Lana Payne
said in a release.
- David Kennedy
An annual competition
provides $2,000 each for
30 high school teams to
build and program robots
to play in a game.
PHOTO: HONDA CANADA
Honda to power
student robotics
MARKHAM, ONT. - THE
Honda Canada Foundation
is contributing $375,000
The Oakville plant, to be renamed
Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex,
is key to Ford's plan to make two
million electric vehicles a year at
plants globally by the end of 2026.
FORD RENDERING
Unifor also aims to have members
undergo as much training as possible
during the shutdown period to minimize
lost wages.
" Any opportunity we have to get our
members training during the retool
period, we'll take advantage of that. "
PLANT OVERHAUL
Dave Nowicki, director of manufacturing
operations, battery and electric
vehicles for Ford, said the retooling
project, which received $590 million
in joint support from the federal and
Ontario governments, will overhaul the
plant's existing footprint.
" We're using all of its infrastructure
- from the land itself to the buildings
and even its roads - to quickly prepare
for a new generation of manufacturing, "
he said on the April 11 conference
call.
Among other major changes, Ford
plans to consolidate the three existing
body shops into one.
" This not only should save time on
our future assembly process, it should
allow us to further improve build quality, "
Nowicki said, crediting the cleansheet
design of the company's EVs for
SEE TRANSFORMED PAGE 28
over three years to FIRST
Robotics Canada to support
its competitions at provincial
and championship levels.
Under
the program, 30
high school teams will get
$2,000 each to build robots for
the annual robotics competition.
Teams are given limited
time and resources under
strict rules to build and program
industrial-size robots
to play an action-packed,
alliance-based game on a
themed field.
The donation was made
in recognition of National
Engineering Month.
Foundation chair Tony
Facciolo said science, techSCAN
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Paint
Magna: Human
trafficking suit
is 'without merit'
The lawsuit, filed in Ontario
Superior Court, asserts that
the supplier 'chose to illegally
recruit and hire foreign
workers and violate' the
Employment Standards Act
By KELLY TAYLOR
WINNIPEG CORRESPONDENT
CANADIAN PARTS SUPPLIER MAGNA
International says it will " contest vigorously " a
$400 million class-action lawsuit accusing it and
three other companies of human trafficking.
The claim, filed in February in the Ontario
Superior Court, seeks $100 million from each
of Magna, Gwillimdale Farms, Mose Drywall
Systems and Smith Gardens.
In Magna's case, according to the statement
of claim, a representative plaintiff, identified
only as A.B., as well as an unspecified number
of class-action members, were recruited by an
agency in Mexico, named as San Jose, and then
hired by Magna in January. A.B. was then connected
with another defendant, which the lawsuit
names only as John Doe, who encouraged
A.B. to apply for a tourist visa, not a work permit,
with the promise of gainful employment in
Ontario. A.B. was hired as an assembly worker
at a Magna owned or controlled facility. A.B.'s
identity is obscured to protect A.B. as well as
family in Mexico, the statement of claim says.
" A.B. was paid $13 per hour by Magna, below
the minimum wage set in Ontario under the
Employment Standards Act (ESA), " the claim
reads. The claim further alleges A.B. was denied
wages during training, " also in contravention of
the ESA. "
The lawsuit alleges A.B. and other class members
often worked seven days a week with no
overtime pay and were denied vacation time and
health benefits during their employment with
Magna.
" Magna chose to illegally recruit and hire
foreign workers and violate the ESA because it
SEE MAGNA PAGE 27
nology, engineering and math
- STEM - are at the heart of
Honda's values. " We naturally
feel " it is important to inspire
and support the next generation
of innovators and problem solvers,
he said in a release.
- Steve Mertl
Cybersecurity cluster
forming in Ontario
WINDSOR, ONT. - A NEW
transatlantic partnership is an
early sign that an ecosystem
to nurture " clusters " of emerging
cybersecurity companies is
emerging in Windsor, according
to one of the principals.
SEE TRANS-CANADA PAGE 20
03
04.23

Automotive News Canada - April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - April 2023

Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - CT1
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - CT2
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 1
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 2
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 3
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 4
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 5
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 6
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 7
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 8
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 9
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 10
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 11
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 12
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 13
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 14
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 15
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 16
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 17
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 18
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 19
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 20
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 21
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 22
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 23
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 24
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 25
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 26
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 27
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 28
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 29
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 30
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 31
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 32
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 33
Automotive News Canada - April 2023 - 34
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