Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is cutting the third shift at its Windsor Assembly Plant beginning June 29th, affecting about 1,500 employees.

The change keeps the shift operational for an additional three months. Originally scheduled to shut down last September, the shift’s closing was given a four-month reprieve in November to last until March 31.

FCA says it made the decision to match volumes with demand as production of the Dodge Grand Caravan is phased out at the end of May.

The company says “ it will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority and will offer retirement packages to eligible employees.”

Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy held a news conference in Windsor to discuss the impact. He said investment in Canadian automobile production will be a priority during negotiations that get underway this summer with FCA, General Motors and Ford. The union will also continue to press various levels of government about the need for a national auto strategy to stabilize and grow the sector.

The plant, which produces the Chrysler Pacifica and its hybrid version, as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan, has about 6,100 employees.

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