Stellantis offering retirement incentives to workers at Windsor, Brampton plants

Stellantis is offering a “retirement incentive program” to employees at its Ontario assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton ahead of a multibillion-dollar shift to electric vehicle production, but the automaker is not commenting on how much it expects to shrink its workforce.

In a statement on Tuesday, the company formerly known as Fiat Chrysler said the incentives are for eligible employees.

The company said the “workforce reduction” would take place over the next couple of months but it would not directly comment on whether it was planning layoffs. 

The company also said it’s “firmly committed to the future of its Canadian operations,” and referenced its plan to invest $3.6 billion toward the Brampton and Windsor plants.

“As we transition to a sustainable, mobility tech company, we continue to review our operations for efficiencies,” a spokesperson for the company said.

The company has also promised to bring Windsor back to a three-shift operation. Stellantis eliminated that shift in 2020, and, prior to new investments announced this year, had planned to eliminate the second shift as well.

Stellantis said it would look to place laid off employees in any new full-time positions as they open up.

The company declined an interview request.

CBC News has also reached out to Unifor Local 444, the union representing Windsor autoworkers, for comment but president Dave Cassidy was unavailable for an interview.

Chrysler Pacifica minivans, made at the Windsor Assembly Plant, are seen in transport along Wyandotte Street East on Oct. 26, 2021. (Kerri Breen/CBC)

Workers who spoke with CBC News during the afternoon shift change at the Windsor Assembly Plant on Tuesday were just learning of the news.

Autoworker Paul Durocher, 62, said if he were offered a buyout, he’d take it. 

“Junior people would be able to stay at work and I’d be able to get out of here,” he said.

Dan St. Louis, who has been at the plant since 1984, wants to see what the company is offering before making a choice.

“I have to see the package and crunch the numbers,” he said.

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