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Automakers cut production due to anti-vaccine Canadian trucker protest


Truckers and their support continue to block the Ambassador Bridge’s route linking Detroit and Windsor as they protest the vaccine mandates against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Windsor, Ontario Canada, February 8, 2022.

Carlos Osorio | Reuters

DETROIT – Canadian truck drivers blocking the nation’s busiest border bridge between the U.S. Canada in protest of that country’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate are disrupting North American manufacturing, especially among automakers.

General Motors, Ford Motor and Toyota MotorDue to the delays in delivery, several U.S. plants had to reduce production this week.

On Wednesday, The White House declared that they were monitoring the problem “very closely.” The government officials warned that the prolonged “Freedom Convoy” blockade could cause supply chain disruptions in other areas of the economy, as well as for the automobile industry.

Now, the blockade has entered its fourth day on Ambassador Bridge. It accounts for 25 percent of the goods that are traded between Canada and America.

At a Wednesday briefing, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary said that the blockade could pose a threat to the supply chain for the automotive industry as the bridge was a crucial conduit for components and parts of motor vehicles. “We are monitoring possible disruptions to U.S. agriculture exports from Michigan to Canada.”

Psaki stated that the White House maintains close contacts with Michigan’s governor. Gretchen Whitmer and Customs and Border Protection officials, along with Canadian officials and automobile companies, are all in close contact. They seek to identify alternative sources and reduce the negative impact on U.S. production as well as the effect on citizens crossing the bridge in search of work.

“We are extremely focused on this.  “The President is very focused on this,” she stated.

Automobile production

As companies struggle with an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, the blockade will only exacerbate an already difficult time in auto production. caused sporadic closures of plantsOver the last year.

On Thursday, Dan Flores, a GM spokesperson confirmed that the problem would result in the loss of the first shift at the Lansing Delta Township assembly facility in mid-Michigan. On Wednesday, another shift was eliminated.

Kelli Felker, spokeswoman for Ford, stated Thursday that the company is operating a Windsor engine plant and Oakville assembly plant on a modified schedule. This follows similar actions taken by Ford Wednesday, which included a shut down of the engine plant.

Ford released a statement saying that the interruption to the Detroit-Windsor Bridge “hurts customers and auto workers as well as suppliers, communities, companies, and businesses on both side of the border.” We hope that this problem is quickly resolved as it can have a large impact on both American and Canadian automakers.

Ford has already taken significant reductions in production this week several North American plantsDue to the shortage of chips.

Toyota said Wednesday that it will not be able manufacture any products at its three Canadian plants during the week because of parts shortages. Associated Press reported. The problem was attributed to weather, supply chain and pandemic-related problems, although the shut downs occurred just days after Monday’s blockade.

Sign of supporter denouncing Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister during the Freedom Rally to protest Canada’s mandatory vaccination policy for truckers coming from the USA. This was to prevent a quarantine of two weeks in Vaughan Ontario.

Arindam Shivaani | NurPhoto | Getty Images

StellantisAccording to media reports, Fiat Chrysler (formerly Fiat Chrysler) cut Wednesday shifts at the minivan plant located in Windsor, Ontario. The company didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment.

Canadian protests

One woman protests against vaccine mandates for coronavirus (COVID-19), as cars block the road from Windsor Bridge, Ontario Canada, February 8, 2022.

Carlos Osorio | Reuters

Truckers have protested a January 15th rule that required all immigrants to Canada to receive full vaccines. According to media reports, Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister has not indicated any intention of relaxing the restrictions.

François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada, which represents over 55,000 professional drivers, including 15,000 long haul truck drivers, has condemned the protests, saying they do not represent the 90% of drivers who are vaccinated.

He stated that while we believe strongly in the right of protesting government policies and voicing a broad array of opinions but, what’s happening in Ottawa has done more damage to Teamsters members. This could be truck drivers trying to get their loads or workers at a hotel or restaurant who were threatened, abused, or prevented access to their jobs by several protesters.” in a statementThis week, earlier.