Ford Canada to cut 450 jobs in Oakville as production of two vehicles ends

Ford Canada to cut 450 jobs in Oakville as production of two vehicles ends

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Ford Motor Co. will eliminate 450 jobs at its largest Canadian manufacturing operation in Oakville by early next year as it discontinues some models amid weak sales and a major refresh of Ford’s product lineup.

The jobs represent nearly 11 per cent of the Oakville assembly plant’s 4,200 workers and 5.6 per cent of Ford’s total 8,000 employees in Canada.

Ford Canada said Monday that production of the Lincoln MKT crossover ended earlier this month and production of the Ford Flex sport-utility vehicle will end in November.

The Oakville plant also makes the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus crossover.

The company said it will focus on products in the fastest growing segments to meet shifting consumer demands.

Unifor, which represents most of Ford Canada’s employees, renewed its call for new products to be assigned to the Oakville assembly plant.

“For months Unifor has been urging Ford to come up with a plan to avoid this scenario,” Dave Thomas, president of Unifor Local 707, said in a statement Monday.

“Ford was aware the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT were coming to the end of their production life-cycle.”

The company announced in July that it would cut jobs at Oakville because of slowing sales.

Unifor — Canada’s largest private sector union — is scheduled to negotiate new labour contracts with Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler in 2020.

In past negotiations, the union has sought to get long-term commitments for products to be manufactured at the three companies’ Ontario plants.

However, a number of factors have made Unifor’s challenge increasingly difficult including President Donald Trump’s outspoken defence of U.S. manufacturing, including the threat of tariffs on vehicles imported from Canada.

In addition, a number of vehicles made in Canada by the Big Three are based on older designs.

A Ford statement on Monday said that the Michigan-based company is replacing 75 per cent of its vehicle lineup but didn’t specify whether the Oakville plant will get any new or renewed vehicles.

“For competitive reasons, we do not discuss future product plans,” Ford Canada vice-president Lauren More said in an email.

Ford said it will update the Escape and Explorer sport utility vehicles and introduce a new pickup truck. It also plans a new Mustang-inspired electric performance utility in 2020.

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development issued a statement saying it had been in direct contact with Ford Motor Co. and that the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will offer support for affected workers.

“We will continue to work with our partners to continue to fight for good jobs in Oakville and support the affected families,” the statement concluded.

Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said that “we know that things are shifting, of course, but we continue to know that we make the best products in the world.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paul Harris, owner of Tribe restaurant downtown, said a lot of the blame for the latest restrictions that will close outdoor patios on Sunday can be blamed on those not obeying health regulations and the government for failing to enforce the rules.
Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Restaurant owners frustrated by patio shutdowns

Outdoor patios must stop serving by midnight Sunday to stem rising COVID infections

The City of Red Deer said Wednesday that some outdoor activity rentals will be available starting Monday for households only. (Advocate File Photo)
City of Red Deer outlines activities available as new provincial COVID-19 restrictions set in

There will be limited recreation activities available across the City of Red… Continue reading

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

‘Love, Oran’ is a documentary feature made by Red Deer-raised filmmaker Colin Scheyen. It’s about hidden letters, found in a Woodlea home after 70 years, revealing a family secret. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Hidden letters reveal secrets of Red Deer family in a new documentary film

‘Love, Oran,’ by filmmaker Colin Scheyen is showing at Edmonton’s NorthwestFest

Red Deer Rebels’ three graduating players, Josh Tarzwell (left), Chris Douglas (middle) and Ethan Anders (right) will all move on to new opportunities next season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
‘It was a rollercoaster’: Rebels’ graduating players look back on wild season

The nerves. Even three-and-a-half-years later, Josh Tarzwell still remembers the nervousness he… Continue reading

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, left, directs her teammates, lead Briane Meilleur, right, and second Shannon Birchard, against Estonia at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, May 5, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson extends win streak to four games at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson extends win streak to four games at world curling playdowns

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy, left, talks with midfielder Lassi Lappalainen during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Columbus Crew, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Canadian MLS teams try to make best of relocation

Canadian MLS teams try to make best of relocation

Damian Warner, of Canada bronze, smiles during the medal ceremony for the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Nariman El-Mofty
Decathlete Damian Warner says being a dad has brought balance and new perspective

Decathlete Damian Warner says being a dad has brought balance and new perspective

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. gestures rounding third base after hitting his third home run against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 27, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Blue Jays shuffling back to Buffalo starting June 1

Blue Jays shuffling back to Buffalo starting June 1

Bedard, Wright lead Canadians into gold-medal game at U18 championship

Bedard, Wright lead Canadians into gold-medal game at U18 championship

Canada players are seen prior to the match against Costa Rica as part of the 2021 CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala in this Wednesday, May 5, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, CONCACAF, Straffon Images, Norvin Mendoza *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada loses to Costa Rica but advances at CONCACAF Futsal Championship

Canada loses to Costa Rica but advances at CONCACAF Futsal Championship

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver addresses the audience at the Yukon Government swearing in ceremony, in the Yukon Government Legislature foyer, in Whitehorse, Monday, May 3, 2021. The Yukon government says travelers who can prove they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate when they enter the territory beginning May 25. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Kelly
Yukon to lift requirement of 14-day self-isolation for arriving travellers on May 25

Yukon to lift requirement of 14-day self-isolation for arriving travellers on May 25

Most Read