Thursday, July 29, 2010
A Good Job at a Good Wage
The last General Motors job in what was once Canada’s Motor City ended on Wednesday, 91 years after the first job was created when the Fisher Body Company of Detroit established a branch operation here. In between, as many as 6,800 Windsorites worked for GM at its peak.
The Canadian Auto Workers, the union for the 500 workers who will lose their job — down from a peak of 2,800 at this factory, with another 4,000 in the city — describes the site as a prime candidate for redevelopment as a factory for solar energy companies, which enjoy generous government subsidies.
Just across the river from Motown itself, Windsor could hardly avoid a central role in the North American car industry, nor the storm that came its way after the 2008 market collapse.
GM Canada and its U.S. parent company were saved from collapse by bail-outs from the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments, and this closure was a bargaining point in negotiations that also saw increased production and investment elsewhere in Ontario.