wdr-banner-windsor-assembly-minivan-cp5788285

Chrysler has asked workers at the Windsor assembly plant, shown here in 2008, to work through their usual Christmas shutdown this year to meet high demand for the Dodge Grand Caravan. ((Dave Chidley/Canadian Press))

High demand for minivans may make for a merrier Christmas in Windsor, Ont., this year.

Chrysler has announced it wants to keep production of its minivans moving right through the Christmas period.

'It should be a little bit of a boost to the economy of Windsor at a time obviously I would suggest we critically need a boost in our economy.'— Rick Laporte, CAW Local 444

Normally, there is a one-week shutdown at the Windsor assembly plant, which produces the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Volkswagen Routan.

Chrysler said it is anticipating high demand for its redesigned minivans.

Holiday pay plus double time

The company plans to run 12-hour days the week of Dec. 27, and the union doubts Chrysler will have trouble finding workers ready to cover the shifts.

"Those workers would be paid their holiday pay plus double time for being at work," said Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, which represents the workers.

Laporte said the extra work is good news for all of Windsor.

"I would suggest to you it means more Christmas presents under the tree, more money spent in our economy, and it should be a little bit of a boost to the economy of Windsor at a time obviously I would suggest we critically need a boost in our economy."

Chrysler will start production of its new model minivans at the Windsor assembly plant later this fall.

It already has plans to build an additional 60,000 of the vehicles to meet expected demand.