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Union vows to find jobs for workers as Windsor, Ont., parts plant closes

Dakkota Integrated Systems has given Unifor notice that production will halt. (Dax Melmer/CBC - image credit)
Dakkota Integrated Systems has given Unifor notice that production will halt. (Dax Melmer/CBC - image credit)

More than 130 workers at Windsor's Dakkota Integrated Systems will be in need of new jobs, their union said Thursday.

Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, told reporters the company had given the union notice of no future production on Tuesday.

It comes after Stelllantis awarded the contract for the parts the company produced to CPK Interior Products, another auto parts manufacturer.

"I've met with Chrysler. I've told Chrysler that they have to absorb — because there's no fault of the workers, right? Stellantis has given the work to CPK," he said.

"Either CPK or Stellantis is going to make sure these workers have a home and we're going to make sure that every single worker — the 138 at Dakkota — is going to have a home."

Dave Cassidy, the president of Unifor Local 444, says that while there might be some reduction at the Windsor Assembly Plant, he's confident that there will be a future for all workers.
Dave Cassidy, the president of Unifor Local 444, says that while there might be some reduction at the Windsor Assembly Plant, he's confident that there will be a future for all workers.

Dave Cassidy, the president of Unifor Local 444, pictured in a January 2023 file photo. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Cassidy says he met with workers on Wednesday and "spirits are up."

"They believe in the union. I mean there [were] obviously some anxieties, but you know, they believe in the union," Cassidy said. "They know that we're going to make sure that they land in a spot, whether it's Stellantis or CPK."

Given the company and the union are currently in bargaining, Cassidy says they'll be negotiating collective and closure agreements, but he says workers are entitled to severance pay.

"We are not walking away from the bargaining table without closure agreement for severance for all these workers," he said.

Cassidy says Dakkota's contract runs until August.

Dakkota is the last of four local parts manufacturers represented by Unifor Local 444 to enter bargaining with Stellantis. Avancez members ratified their new three-year agreement Thursday afternoon. The pattern was set earlier this month by members at ZF-TRW, followed by HBPO.

CPK manufactures interior automotive parts. According to the company's website, it has locations in Troy, Mich., and Belleville, Guelph and Port Hope, Ont.