Ford Canada plant idled due to India labor unrest

Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:20pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Friday it will idle one of its Canadian plants next week due to a shortage of transmission parts that stems from a labor dispute in India.

Ford said it will close its Oakville, Ontario, plant, where it manufactures the Ford Edge, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKX, from October 26 to 30.

"The recent labor unrest at Rico Auto Industries and the Haryana state in India has resulted in a shortage of parts from Rico," said Ford Canada spokeswoman Lauren More.

"We are monitoring the situation and continue to work with Rico to reduce the impact on our operations."

Media reports said an ongoing strike at the Rico plant, just outside New Delhi, turned violent after an employee died on Sunday during a protest.

About 3,000 in workers in Oakville will be affected by the shutdown, said Canadian Auto Workers union local president Gary Beck.

Formal contract talks between the union and Ford on lowering manufacturing costs are scheduled to resume next week, Beck said. The two sides last met formally in September, but have had informal discussions since then.

Ford is looking for similar contract concessions that the CAW agreed to with struggling General Motors and Chrysler earlier this year.

(Reporting by Susan Taylor and John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)