When Ford invested an extra $700 million in the company’s Oakville plant a year ago, the Oakville plant announced that they won an internal-company battle in the bid to be the company’s global platform for the upcoming Ford Edge. Now, they are sharing the win with locals by announcing that they will be hiring 1,000 extra personnel to help prepare for the 2015 launch of the new Ford Edge crossover utility vehicle.
The Exciting News
With the above announcement, there is no doubt that this is a jovial time for Ontario’s manufacturing sector, especially that it is most likely that the majority of those who will be tapped to work at Ford Canada’s Oakville plant will be locals. In fact, a vibrant Dianne Craig, the chief executive officer and president of Ford Canada happily shared the news via an exclusive phone interview last week and said that the new hires will help Ford serve more than 100 markets abroad.
Hopeful Recovery of the Auto-Manufacturing Industry?
In 2004, Ford closed their Oakville truck plant, which resulted to a lot of people losing their jobs. This year though, with the addition of 1,000 extra hires, Ford will have provided more than 4,000 jobs in it’s Oakville plant.
Bob Scott, the plant chair for Unifor Local 707, an organisation which represents 3,300 at Ford’s Oakville plant says that the news is more than they were expecting and is certainly great news for everyone. Unifor knows what they taking about, as they represent 21,000 Canadian workers who are working in the auto industry including the 4,500 employed at Ford.
The above statement may be related to the fact that the auto manufacturing industry is one of the hardest hit industries when the 2008-2009 financial crisis struck and caused a recession for big ticket items such as cars and other vehicles. With this announcement, people in the auto manufacturing industry hopes that things are indeed on the mend. With 11,900 people losing their jobs and only 3,300 of those jobs regained by May 2014, the recovery may still be a long way off; but still, this is a start.
Some sacrifices has been made in terms of wages for the labour, as new workers will work at $20 an hour instead of the usual $24 but overall, all camps seems to be happy to make and accommodate that decision of lowering the wages a bit to provide work for more people and get more hires. It is not just for the benefit of the company as well since Unifor and the lawmakers talked with Ford to ensure that workers will receive a hybrid pension plan. This agreement also means that the existing 2,800 jobs at Ford’s Oakville plant will be secured.
Ford’s New Frontier
As mentioned, the Ford Oakville plant will be the sole manufacturer of the Ford Edge vehicle which will be released next year. According from Ford’s Dianne Craig, this is through the combined efforts of Ford, which invested $700 million and the federal and Ontario governments which contributed $142 million aside from the new labour agreement which is now in place. She further says that there were initial doubts whether Ford Canada is up to the challenge and that she is happy that the company’s Canadian plant delivered.
All of these changes are no doubt indicators of the recovering manufacturing sector as well as improving North American and World Economy which will benefit everyone in the coming years.
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