Although Chrysler Canada has no immediate plans to follow the lead of its parent company and file for bankruptcy protection, the head of the Canadian Auto Workers says its plants will be forced to close until the company’s U.S. court-supervised restructuring is complete.
Chrysler LLC said Thursday it will temporarily stop most of its vehicle production until it has completed a technology-sharing alliance with Fiat — a cornerstone of its restructuring plan. The shutdown is effective Monday and could last between 30 and 60 days.
CAW president Ken Lewenza said that Chrysler Canada told him it plans to keep its plants operating until it runs out of parts, but he expects them to shut down “almost immediately,” putting approximately 9,400 workers out of a job for as long as two months.
“We’ll continue to run our plants as far as the supply chain will take us, but the industry is so integrated that we will be down almost immediately following the U.S. plants going down, no question,” Lewenza said in an interview.
He said Chrysler’s major suppliers stopped production as soon as they heard the company was filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in the United States, leaving Chrysler’s Canadian operations in the lurch.