Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant is shutting down for five weeks in October and November to ensure the Dodge Caravans are outfitted with airbags that meet new U.S. regulations.
"We don't put in the new style airbag to meet the U.S. specs until December so there's a slowdown in production because we can't sell our Dodge Carvavans in the U.S. until we make a fix in the plant," Unifor Local 444 President James Stewart told Windsor Morning.
Stewart said the shutdown -- which will take place during all of October and one week in November -- will cause some short-term pain, especially for workers in the feeder plants who don't get any top ups to employment insurance.
"There are some significant hardships for our members," said Stewart. "There's a lot of people in the community that are out of work for a period of time."
Stewart stressed that short-term pain comes with a long-term benefit.
"Long term it's good news for Windsor. The fact that they're still making investments in the Dodge Caravan, they're still making changes to make sure there's a big market for the Dodge Caravan," said Stewart. "There's a little bit of short term pain getting there but long term we're in very good shape."
Stewart said the Chrysler Pacifica already meets the new air bag standards.