Chrysler, GM in Canadian Shipping Bind Due to Labor Dispute

All is not well in Canada for Chrysler and General Motors, who  are dealing with a shipping dispute that is keeping their new vehicles grounded.

GM and Chrysler’s plants in Canada continue to churn out product but their shipper, Allied Systems Holding, hasn’t been able to fulfill their duties over a labor dispute. Allied informed the two automakers their services would stop last Wednesday, March 16.

The cause? Atlanta, Georgia-based Allied apparently decided to cancel a previously hashed-out plan to cut employee pay in the United States by 20 percent. In turn, the Teamsters union, who represents Allied workers, had threatened strike and is having their members stay home.

Without Allied, Chrysler and GM plants have watched their freshly assembled vehicles pile up in nearby parking lots. The shipper trouble was almost immediately felt at Chrysler’s Windsor plant, where minivans have been filling up vacant lots. The biggest trouble for the automakers is the plants will shut down if there is ultimately not enough storage for the new vehicles.

"My members are sitting at home; they have no work," said Rick Laporte, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 444, to the Edmonton Journal. CAW Local 144 represents about 160 Allied workers in Windsor, Ontario.

Chrysler and GM have stated they will continue to work around the problem and get their vehicles to dealers as quickly as possible.

Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant is responsible for the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, along with right-hand-drive cargo vans and diesel vehicles for the international market. There’s also Brampton, home to the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger.

GM’s Canadian  plants include Ingersoll (Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain) and Oshawa (Buick Regal, Chevy Camaro, Impala).

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