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Ontario unveils $550k in support for recently laid-off Windsor auto workers

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton speaks from a podium during Friday's media conference about new support for recently laid off workers in Windsor. Monte McNaughton / Twitter

The Ontario government is investing more than $550,000 aimed at supporting recently laid-off auto workers in Windsor, Ont.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton shared the news on Friday during a media conference inside Unifor Local 444’s headquarters in Windsor.

The bulk of the money will support the launch of a new employment action centre aimed at serving the 289 people who lost their jobs at Syncreon Automative in October.

The investment will also support an extension of the already existing Stellantis Action Centre, which will serve those impacted by Stellantis’ ongoing rolling layoffs. The most recent of those layoffs has left 530 people without work, according to the province.

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The Syncreon Action Centre will be led by Unifor Local 195 while the Stellantis Action Centre is being operated by Unifor Local 444.

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“Laid-off workers can get help with resumes, cover letters, one-on-one career counselling and tailored advice on their job searches, so they can land quickly on their feet and into their next role in Windsor’s growing auto sector,” McNaughton said.

A former worker at Windsor Assembly Plant, a site impacted by Stellantis’ rolling layoffs, Sara Vermast is now a coordinator at the Stellantis Action Centre, helping fellow Unifor members in similar situations.

“It’s very hard because everybody’s situation is different,” Vermast said of working at the action centre.

“Some people lost their job, and a couple of people — both worked there out of their family… everybody’s different with their mental health situation and stuff like that, so we do the best that we can.”

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With the new investment, the Stellantis Action Centre in Windsor will now operate until at least November 2023. The Ontario government says it has served 800 workers so far.

The newly-launched Syncreon Action Centre is set to run until at least October 2023.

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