Windsor

Police, union officials talking at Nemak

Windsor police, company representatives and union officials spent the morning in private conversations.

'We don't want to see the facility go down,' say union officials

Windsor police discuss next steps with union officials at the blockade of the Nemak plant. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Windsor police, company representatives and union officials spent the morning in private conversations, deciding what would happen next for the hundreds of workers blocking the entrance to the Windsor Nemak plant.

Workers walked off the job Labour Day, protesting the company's July decision to shut its west Windsor doors mid-2020, after a previous agreement said the plant would stay open for a few more years.

A Superior Court judge upheld an Ontario Labour Relations Board ruling made Wednesday that the strike was illegal and workers were directed to return to work. The company ordered production to begin at 11 p.m. Wednesday, but that didn't happen. 

Early Friday morning, union leadership said the blockade would remain no matter what. 

"I haven't been served anything right now," said John D'Agnolo, Unifor Local 200 president, adding that he expected police officers would be coming soon to discuss it with them.

"The lawyers haven't given us any direction yet. We'll wait for that."

Officers arrived at Nemak around 8 a.m., but left to move discussions with plant officials down the road, in front of the Major FA Tilston Armoury and Police Training Centre. 

Officers arrived at Nemak around 8 a.m., but left to move discussions with plant officials down the road, in front of the Major FA Tilston Armoury and Police Training Centre. (Rose St. Pierre/Radio-Canada)

"We don't want to see the facility go down," said D'Agnolo.

According to D'Agnolo, most of the people on the blockade Friday morning weren't Nemak employees, but were supporters from other union Locals, including Local 444. As Friday progressed, members from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario also arrived to support the Nemak workers. 

D'Agnolo said all workers want is to be on the job, not on the picket line. 

"We should be working, not worrying about the plant going away."

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