Windsor loses 1,000 potential Ford engine jobs to Mexico

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Ford was considering manufacturing the 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre engines for the Ford Fiesta in Windsor. (CBC File Photo)

Ford Motor Co. has decided to not invest in Windsor, according to the union representing employees there.

"Diassappointing [sic]news from Ford this morning that it will produce engines in Mexico instead of Windsor. Would have meant 1,000+ #goodjobs," the union tweeted.

Unifor later issued a news release. In it, Unifor said it had hoped that months of discussions between Ford, two levels of government and the union would result in "significant investment which would have secured the production of a global engine at the Windsor facility."

It has been confirmed that the global engine will be built in Mexico, Unifor said.

“We are disappointed,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in the release. “The auto industries that are flourishing around the world are ones where there is a deep commitment from government and an understanding of the importance and wisdom of investment – which always pays dividends.”

Investment in Windsor was expected to be in the neighbourhood of $2 billion and create as many 1,000 jobs, according to a report in the Globe and Mail.

Two months ago, Unifor Local 200 president Chris Taylor said Ford was considering investing in either a new plant or an expansion of either the Essex Engine Plant or the Windsor Engine Plant.

Taylor said at that time, Ford was considering manufacturing the 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre engines for the Ford Fiesta in Windsor.

Taylor previously told CBC News that back in 2012, the union negotiated a letter of agreement stating that if Ford produced a new engine product, the Windsor facilities would get first opportunity to manufacture it, provided a number of criteria are met.

Taylor told CBC Windsor on Friday that one of the caveats in that agreement was government money. Taylor claims not enough government money was offered to keep Ford in Windsor.

Windsor mayoral candidate John Millson said at a news conference Friday that he knew of the decision Thursday.

"We can't lose this engine opportunity," he said.

Millson claims the Province knew last week, when Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne visited, that Ford was going to Mexico.

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, didn't immediately respond to an email sent by CBC Windsor.

Former Ontario Liberal Minister Sandra Pupatello, who is now the CEO of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation declined to comment until the news was confirmed by Ford.

Ford spokesperson Whitney Eichinger would only say that "for competitive reasons, we cannot discuss future manufacturing or product plans."

Unifor Local 200, which represents Ford workers in Windsor, is expected to hold a meeting Sunday to explain the decision to its members.

Earlier this month, Ford said it would add 1,000 jobs at its plant in Oakville, Ont. by the end of this year to build the 2015 Ford Edge crossover SUV.

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