CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

LATEST MAGAZINE

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Foreign workers helping to set up NextStar EV battery plant are highly specialized and temporary

Share This Post
The about 900 foreign workers, mainly from South Korea, who will be part of the team setting up the NextStar Energy EV battery plant in Windsor will head home within three to 18 months once their "highly specialized" work is completed. PHOTO courtesy NextStar Energy.

The about 900 foreign technicians who will be helping assemble, install and test the equipment in Windsor’s government-subsidized electric NextStar Energy vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., will be only a temporary presence at the plant, according to company and government officials.

There was an uproar on Canadian social media circles when it was learned that NextStar would be sending hundreds of technicians, largely from South Korea, to set up the battery plant. NextStar has now responded that the technicians from South Korea have “specific knowledge” of the advanced equipment that requires setup in the new plant.

“Upon completion of their work (lasting between three months to a year and a half), they will return home. These are not permanent full-time jobs,” the company said in a statement.

The 900 from South Korea are to be part of about 1,600 equipment manufacturers from outside suppliers who will be involved in setting up the factory’s equipment. NextStar added that these 1,600 temporary jobs to install the equipment are over and above the 2,500 full-time permanent positions that will be held by Canadians once the plant is built, and another 1,600 temporary hires from the Canadian workforce to build the plant.

Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, after speaking with NextStar Energy CEO Danies Lee,  also quickly threw cold water on the idea that foreign labour is being used to take away permanent Canadian jobs.

“These (900 foreign) workers will also assist with training 700 Ontario workers to equip them with the net new skills that will lay the groundwork for work on future projects of this kind as we transition to building the cars of the future. To be clear, these temporary workers will come to Windsor to perform this highly specialized work, upskill Ontario workers and then return home,” Fedeli emphasized.

Canada has a free trade deal with South Korea which allows workers to come to Canada independent of the process around hiring temporary foreign workers, CBC News reports.

One industry analyst told CBC News that the calls for an all-Canadian workforce to set up the NextStar plant are short-sighted and unrealistic.

“I think you’ve got to bring the people that know the technology and are skilled and it’s their backgrounds, their wheelhouse that come in, set the stage, make sure everything is … running smoothly and then hand the keys off,” Joe McCabe, president and chief executive officer of Auto Forecast Solutions, told CBC News.

Share This Post

Recent Articles




Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial
error

Enjoy this post? Share with your network