The announcement of mass layoffs at Fiat Chrysler in Windsor is likely to push insolvencies higher, especially in an economy in which recent interest rate rises are squeezing people’s incomes.
Windsor, Ontario: On March 28, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it will close the third shift at its Windsor plant on September 30, 2019. This will result in approximately 1,500 job losses.
The job losses will affect local people and families, but the consequences of the shift closure will not be limited to those who lose their jobs. Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy believes the ripple effects will be felt by those working at factories and feeder plants that supply the Windsor plant.
“This is devastating news for many families,” says Licensed Insolvency Trustee John Adamson. “In the current economic environment, recent rises in interest rates have already made balancing budgets difficult. Families who lose one or even both incomes now will face tough financial times ahead.”
The Windsor plant makes Chrysler Pacifica, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and the Dodge Grand Caravan, and the decision to close the third shift has been taken to ‘better align production with global demand,’ according to Fiat Chrysler. The decision will be a hammer blow to many, especially workers who helped the plant battle through Chrysler’s bankruptcy in 2009. Even through those difficult times, the third shift remained.
Fiat Chrysler spokesperson LouAnn Gosselin said that the layoffs will include retirement packages for eligible employees, and that the company would “make every effort to place indefinitely laid-off hourly employees in open full-time positions, as they become available, based on seniority”.
“I don’t feel that Doug Ford’s government fully understand the devastation this is likely to cause to residents in Windsor and Ontario,” says Mr. Adamson. “He calls the decision by Fiat Chrysler ‘extremely disappointing’ while saying that there has never been a better time for auto manufacturers to invest in the province of Ontario.
“This sounds somewhat contradictory to what Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said in December, 2018, when he warned that Windsor needed to start planning as if Fiat Chrysler were leaving the city.
“Our hope is that Mr Ford sticks to his word and fights to protect the jobs of auto workers in Windsor. Our fear is that, come September 30, many of Windsor’s residents will find themselves in the middle of personal financial crises with the threat of insolvency hanging over them.
“Those who feel threatened by this closure should act sooner rather than later to get their finances in order.”
About the Company: Adamson & Associates serves southwest Ontario with personal and commercial bankruptcy services and credit counselling. The firm also provides receivership liquidation services, business restructuring and proposals, and has offices in St. Thomas, Kitchener/Waterloo, London South, London North, Chatham and Windsor. John Adamson is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Practitioner (CIRP) and Accountant (CMA).