CAW Tries To Keep Ford In Canada

TORONTO (CP) -- Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza says there are ways for Ford to maintain its manufacturing footprint in Canada even it stops producing cars at the St. Thomas plant in southwestern Ontario.

The union has proposed that Ford turn the plant into a parts assembly operation, or that it add new components to its existing parts plant in Windsor, Ont.

Lewenza says the goal is to keep about 13 per cent of Ford's North American manufacturing in Canada.

He says it doesn't matter how that happens, as long as jobs aren't lost.

Ford has said it has no plans to manufacture vehicles at its St. Thomas plant beyond 2011.

The company and the union have been negotiating a new labour contract since Sept. 8, and Lewenza says the future of the St. Thomas plant south of London remains the key "stumbling block" to reaching an agreement.

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