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PLANT

Ford’s St. Thomas plant shutters after 44 years

Falling sales sealed its fate


September 15, 2011
by The Canadian Press

ST. THOMAS—The Ford assembly plant in St. Thomas ends its 44-year run today, putting 1,200 hourly-paid workers out of work.

The final sedan will roll out of the 2.6-million-square-foot factory, ending a long history that included Fairmonts, Pintos and Mavericks, and lately full-sized sedans such as the Lincoln Town Car and Crown Victorias.

Workers have known about the closure since 2009, but there was hope it would stay open.

To help ease the final blow, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and Ford have worked out compensation packages that allow for early retirements and a limited number of transfers to other Ford factories.

The roughly 800 remaining employees who need to find new work get a severance package as well as three years of job-search and retraining assistance through an action centre set up by the CAW.