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Stellantis factory: construction with temporary foreign workers | The Stellantis battery factory Stellantis

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Stellantis is building its electric vehicle battery factory in Windsor.


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The proposed construction of NextStar Energy, a flagship electric vehicle battery factory in Windsor, has raised fears that many jobs will be given to temporary South Korean workers, which would reduce those promised to Canadians. The plant benefits from $15 billion in government subsidies.

NextStar Energy, a joint venture between the global energy giant; automobile Stellantis and South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution, is the largest investment in the history of the Canadian automotive sector, with significant federal and provincial subsidies.

The battery factory, scheduled to open next year, was expected to create 2,500 jobs in Windsor and the surrounding area. The news was first widely welcomed by the unions when it was first announced.

But the latter and several MPs asked for clarification after a social media post from Windsor Police last week.

The Stellantis battery factory

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The Stellantis battery factory

Consult the complete file


After a meeting between its chief Jason Bellaire and South Korea's ambassador to Canada, Woongsoon Lim, police told X that they expect around 1,600 South Korean workers Koreans are coming to the community next year to help build the factory.

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In a statement to The Canadian Press, NextStar Energy CEO Danies Lee says the company is committed to hiring Canadians to fill more than 2,500 full-time jobs at the plant. of Windsor and hire up to 2,300 additional local workers to help with construction and installation.

However, Mr. Lee says the installation phase of the project also requires specialist temporary staff from the global supplier, who have proprietary knowledge and specialist expertise. It is unclear how many workers NextStar Energy plans to bring from outside Canada.

Unifor union president Lana Payne is concerned about this intention. We believe that the shift towards electric vehicles must create good jobs for Canadian workers, through agreements with unions. Workers should not be subject to exploitative programs like the temporary foreign worker program, she said in an email.

In September, UN special rapporteur Tomoya Obokata estimated, after a field visit, that this Canadian program created conditions favoring a contemporary form of slavery.

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Although partially reassured immediately, Unifor national president Lana Payne wants to monitor recruitment even more closely. (File photo)

Lana Payne adds, however, that the company's latest statements have alleviated our union's immediate fears.

Our union will closely monitor the recruitment process to ensure that Canadian workers are the first to benefit from this historic investment.

A quote from Lana Payne, President of Unifor

Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre called Monday for a thorough investigation into the matter. He wants a commitment that no public funding will be granted to foreign workers.

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The electric battery factory must be ready in 2024. (File photo)

The subject has been raised twice in the House of Commons Monday during question period.

The Liberal government and Ford's Conservatives (from Ontario, Editor's note) had committed to guarantees training for local workers and had 18 months to ensure it, insisted NDP MP for Windsor West, Brian Masse.

Will the Liberals guarantee that these jobs will be unionized and go to Windsor, Tecumseh and Essex County and that not a single penny will go to Windsor, Tecumseh and Essex County? will go to foreign workers?, he asks.

Conservative MP Rick Perkins of South Shore, Nova Scotia, estimates each Canadian will pay $1,000 to employ these foreign workers. He also asks the Prime Minister to commit to ensuring that all jobs are given to Canadians.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Employment and Workforce Development Irek Kusmierczyk was tasked with responding. We will continue to work with unions and Stellantis to ensure that local Canadian workers are prioritized, he said.

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Irek Kusmierczyk says he wants to continue working with management and unions to ensure that jobs primarily benefit Canadians.

He defended the 2,500 good jobs that will be created and indicated that at this stage, an application for a temporary worker has been approved. He also reminded that the temporary foreign worker program only applies when there is no qualified or available Canadian worker for this job.

With information from The Canadian Press and CBC


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