Stellantis said Wednesday that job cuts are expected at its Windsor and Brampton assembly plants in Ontario in the coming months as the automaker looks to identify “efficiencies.”
The company announced Tuesday it would be offering a retirement incentive program and undergoing a “workforce reduction,” but would not comment on whether there would be layoffs over and above the positions eliminated through retiring employees.
A Stellantis spokesperson confirmed Wednesday, however, that job cuts are part of the plan.
“We are hoping to minimize any potential layoffs with the retirement incentive packages,” LouAnn Gosselin said in a statement.
Stellantis, the company formed after Fiat Chrysler merged with Peugeot, makes the Chrysler Pacifica and other minivans in Windsor, and the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in Brampton.
At the two plants, in total, there are about 5,800 active full-time workers — some 3,500 in Windsor and 2,300 in Brampton.
The company hasn’t commented on how many positions it is looking to eliminate. It has previously committed to the eventual restoration of the third shift at the Windsor and Brampton plants, which would create additional jobs.
Windsor Morning7:32Unifor battery plant
Dave Cassidy, the president of Unifor Local 444, which represents workers in Windsor, said that when incentives like this are offered, it generates questions about the status of the second shift and the plan to restore the third.
Those plans, he said, haven’t changed.
The union has been asking for a retirement incentive for those who want to leave.
“This is an ongoing discussion we’ve had for several years, and now they’re going to offer the incentive to people to leave. There’s going to be some specific numbers around it in the skilled trades and in production, and people are going to get an opportunity to leave, and that’s going to bring some of our laid-off people back,” he said.
The layoffs will come ahead of historic investments toward electric vehicle and battery production in Canada.
Stellantis pointed to the $3.6 billion committed earlier this year to retool and modernize the Windsor and Brampton plants as a sign that it’s firmly committed to its future in this country. The company has also partnered with LG Energy Solution to build a $4.9-billion EV battery plant in Windsor.
“As we transition to a sustainable, mobility tech company, we continue to review our operations for efficiencies,” the company said Tuesday.