Ford to reopen Windsor engine plant: reports

Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:42pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co of Canada will announce the reopening of an engine plant in Windsor, Ontario, on Monday, according to media reports on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty confirmed on Friday that the premier would be at the plant on Monday to make an announcement, alongside Ford and union officials, but said she could not give further details.

The Essex Engine Plant will assemble a new generation of fuel-efficient V8 engines, restoring about 300 jobs, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on its Web site.

The paper, citing unnamed sources, said the Ontario government will chip in about C$17 million ($16.7 million) to boost an initial investment of C$168 million by Ford.

The plant employed as many as 2,000 workers making V-6 and V-8 engines at one time, but that number had dwindled to about 500 when Ford shut it down in November.

Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, said he was invited to the announcement, and was waiting to hear from McGuinty's office. He said that similar announcements have been planned and then canceled three or four times in the recent past.

"I've spent the last seven months of my life working on this ... so I hope it's accurate and I'm planning on going to Windsor unless I hear differently on the weekend."

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Peter Galloway)