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200 jobs to be cut at Ford's Oakville plant

Last Updated Jul 19, 2019 at 11:37 pm EDT

Around 200 jobs will be cut at Ford’s Oakville plant due to slowing sales of some of their models.

“We have a long-standing practice of matching production with consumer demand. As a result, we are making changes to the operating pattern at Oakville Assembly Complex,” said company spokeswoman Kelli Felker by email.

The company said sales of its Ford Flex SUV and Lincoln MKT crossover are slowing, while it will no longer sell the Ford Edge SUV in some European markets.

The Oakville plant, which produces the three vehicles, along with the Linclon MKX crossover, employs about 4,600 people.

In a message on Unifor Local 707’s website, President Dave Thomas wrote the company predicts the job reductions, which the union said was around 185 jobs, will happen in September with a possibility of more layoffs in January 2020.

Thomas adds they have been trying to persuade Ford to avoid this scenario, but writes, “It’s based on a business decision and it all comes down to dollars and cents.”

The message also details restructuring plans that the motor company said are “due to cost expenses and slowing sales.” The layoffs will be the result of an overnight paint shift being cut.

Thomas tells 680 NEWS they were disappointed about the layoffs. “It’s certainly not good news that we like to hear at any time, but we know the market is in a bit of a downturn.”

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade spokesperson Robert Gibson said they were disappointed to learn of the decision to issue layoff notices to workers at the Oakville Assembly Complex.

“We want the employees in Oakville to know that our government stands with them and their families,” read the statement from Gibson. “We will work with our partners to continue to fight for good jobs in Oakville and support the affected families.”

He said they have also reached out to Ford to offer support for the affected workers, but were informed the company had already made arrangements to provide support and do not require any additional help.

But Thomas tells 680 NEWS that he has not been contacted by the Ministry or Minister Vic Fedeli.

“Nobody’s contact me from the government, Fedeli never contacted me to say that ‘We have got lots of support for your plant and your membership.’”

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath also reacted to the news, issuing a statement saying the 185 workers who will be hurt by the layoffs were let down by Doug Ford.

“Once again, Ford is sitting on his hands instead of fighting to protect good auto sector and manufacturing jobs. Ontario needs an effective auto strategy now to make sure that this industry grows and thrives into the future.”

CityNews has reached out to Ford Motor Company for comment.

It’s another blow to the auto industry in Ontario and comes just months after GM announced they would be closing their Oshawa plant. Over 2,000 jobs are expected to be lost by December.