WINDSOR, Ontario, May 29, 2007 – Production at the 73-year-old Windsor Casting Plant ended today as Ford Motor Company continues to transform its North American automotive operations into a profitable and sustainable business.
"It is a tribute to the employees at the Windsor Casting Plant that they have achieved outstanding productivity levels with consistently high quality throughout this year, right down to the last engine block produced," said AdrianVido, Windsor site manager, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. " The company's decision to move away from in-house casting operations is based on a thorough analysis of our business and a need to focus on our core operations. While difficult, these are the right actions for Ford's future."
The company also recently announced that it will end casting production at the Ford facility in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Windsor Casting Plant opened in 1934 and most recently employed 500 people. It produces cylinder block castings for 4.2-litre V6 engines and crankshafts for 4.2-litre V6, 5.4-litre V8, 3.0-litre V6, 4.6-litre V8 and 2.3-litre engines. The plant is also one of the largest recyclers of iron and steel in Southern Ontario. All the steel used in the cylinder blocks and crankshafts is recycled material.
"For decades, workers at the Windsor Casting Plant have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to quality workmanship and pride in a job well done. They leave the plant today with their heads held high," said Mike Vince, president, Canadian Auto Workers Local 200.
Working with the CAW, Ford of Canada has offered financial assistance packages worth up to $100,000 to help employees in Windsor retire, or move their careers in new directions. The company has also partnered with the Ontario government to open an employment counseling and training centre specifically for Ford employees impacted by the restructuring. Programs and services for these workers include: job-search assistance, training information, vocational and educational counseling, personal support in dealing with the stress of job loss, financial counseling and information about starting a small business.
"A key priority is to help our employees, their families and the community through this difficult transition," said Tom McWilliams, manufacturing manager and a 24-year Ford veteran, including 17 years at Windsor Casting. "It's simply the right thing to do in a tough situation."
PLANT FACT SHEET – WINDSOR CASTING PLANT
Crankshafts – 4.2-litre V6, 5.4-litre V8, 3.0-litre V6, 4.6-litre V8, 2.3-litre
HISTORIC TIMELINE – WINDSOR CASTING PLANT
1934 – Ground broken for new Foundry (Windsor Casting Plant).
1935 – Production at new Electric Furnace Foundry starts. First product is crankshafts.
1941 – Automotive casting work ceases to make parts for Universal and Windsor carriers produced for World War II.
1946 – Windsor Casting shifts back to civilian automotive production.
1970 – Name of plant changed from Windsor Iron Foundry to Windsor Casting Plant.
1970 – Waste water treatment plant opens at Windsor Casting.
1980 – Windsor Casting Plant shut down because of decreased demand.
1981 – Windsor Casting Plant reopened.
1989 – WCP wins Ford's Q-1 award. Q-1 winners are rated by the plants they supply for product quality, delivery performance and service levels. The company's highest standards must be met and a plant's performance is audited by world headquarters in Dearborn before the award is given.
1998 – Windsor Casting Plant uses the scrap steel from the demolished Windsor Engine #1 in production of 175,000 cast iron cylinder blocks.
1998 – WCP receives ISO 14001 certification for having implemented the highest standards of environmental conservation and preservation for the manufacture of cast iron cylinder blocks and crankshafts.
1999 – The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment awards WCP its Pollution Prevention Award for Large Business for 1998.
1999 – WCP is the recipient of the 1999 Powertrain Division Most Improved Award for Safety Performance for Casting and Forging Operations.
2003 – Scrap steel from the old office building in Oakville is cut up and shipped to WCP for recycling. Scraps were melted down, purified and turned into crankshafts and engine blocks for V-6 engines.
2006 – Ford Motor Company announces its Way Forward plan to return its North American operations to profitability. The plan includes aligning customer demand with capacity, and Windsor Casting Plant is identified as one of nine manufacturing plants to be idled by 2008.
2007 – Windsor Casting Plant ceases production.