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450 workers at Ford Oakville are losing their jobs

Ford Oakville assembly location, photo by Wikimedia Commons

Ford Motor Company is cutting 450 jobs at its Oakville, Ont. assembly plant. The layoffs will begin in the new year. The jobs represent around 11 per cent of the Oakville assembly plant’s 4,200 workers and around 5.6 per cent of Ford’s total employees in Canada.

The company has announced that the decision is a result of ending the production of two car models. The company says that it is ending production of its Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT models. This will result in a loss of many positions in Oakville beginning in February 2020.

“Since we have accepted living with an economic system that assigns the legal right for private companies to make decisions such as this, then this is the ‘right’ decision,” said William Scarth, an economics professor at McMaster University. However, he says that does not mean it is in the best interest of the workers or their families.

Paul Angelini, a politician and politics professor at Sheridan college, believes that the decision won’t affect the Canadian economy for now, but it will affect the workers’s lives. Will they be able to get other jobs and if they do, will the wage be similar to the $25 they earn now or will it be closer to the minimum wage of $14? “All we can do is publicly support them,” Angelini said.

There is another important perspective to this event–lay offs also have a substantial effect on the auto-industry in general. Angelini said, “This decision means a decline in making cars in the first world.” He believes that Ford’s decision hurts car manufacturing in Canada.

Although the company claimed its reasoning for the layoffs is that it is halting production on two models of vehicles, the company has in fact announced the replacement of 75 per cent of its vehicles. Ford says they will introduce a new pickup truck. There are also plans for a new “Mustang-inspired” electric performance utility in 2020. Although contacted, Ford did not answer questions regarding how it will reach its future production targets with fewer workers.

Anglelini said, “A company’s logic is to make more money for less costing.”

Written by
Fatimah Aboutaleb
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