UNIFOR local 444 struck two deals this weekend aimed at keeping automotive jobs in Windsor. They come weeks before the end of a key manufacturing contract which could leave several people unemployed.
The local said it finalized a deal on Saturday to allow about 20 employees of Oakley Sub Assembly to migrate to AVANCEZ Canada, following negotiations which took about nine months. Oakley's contract to supply minivan rims and wheels for Fiat Chrysler will end on February the 12th.
The deal means about 20 workers still face unemployment, though union officials are vowing to find jobs for those affected.
"There's a lot of uncertainty," said Mike D'Agnolo, local 444's second vice-president. "[Our members] know we're committed to help them out." D'Agnolo later added that he's confident local 444 will find work for all of its affected members through its close ties to other Windsor manufacturing facilities.
On Sunday, employees of Chrysler-owned Auto Transport Service ratified a new collective agreement by more than 65 per cent. Local 444's president praised the deal, though he conceded some challenges remain.
"There's a number of pieces, and improvements on benefits," Dino Chiodo told CBC. "Although it's not perfect, and we've got to do more with regards to really getting our dispatch process in place, and getting more units to be able to transport."