A minivan in production at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly plant, December 7, 2018.  Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.A minivan in production at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly plant, December 7, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Syncreon employees 'in limbo', says Unifor local head

The head of the union local representing Windsor Syncreon employees has said a business decision by Stellantis may have deep-reaching consequences.

Stellantis announced last week that it will move work done by Syncreon back into the Windsor Assembly Plant, with the ultimate goal to have employees within the plant perform it. The move will affect a total of 320 workers.

"As Stellantis transitions to a sustainable, mobility tech company, we continue to review our operations for efficiencies," said Stellantis spokesperson Jodi Tinson in a statement to WindsorNewsToday.ca. "One of the opportunities we identified involves moving our sequencing and metering operations back into the Windsor Assembly Plant. This will allow us to utilize available space within the plant."

Unifor Local 195 President Emile Nabbout told WindsorNewsToday.ca that the automaker informed him earlier this month that a change was coming, but it wasn't confirmed until last week in writing.

"I think that the target is to try to maximize the space inside the Stellantis facility, and they made a decision to insource some of the work from Syncreon," said Nabbout.

Nabbout said that Syncreon employees, some of whom have been with the firm for 20 years, are "devastated" by the news, and the problem is that some Windsor Assembly Plant workers on layoff will likely be called back to fill those positions once they are reverted to the plant.

He is hoping for a solution that will not only benefit affected Syncreon employees but also those with Unifor Local 444, which represents hourly workers at WAP itself.

"Syncreon employees, at this point, are in limbo," said Nabbout. "We are hoping that between Stellantis and our union and Syncreon, we can come to some type of resolve to this, and we are hopeful that Stellantis can acknowledge that they do have an obligation to our workers at Syncreon."

Stellantis is gearing up to have the jobs insourced at the plant by the end of October.

---with files from Adelle Loiselle

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