More police on site
Dilkens said on Thursday that if a peaceful approach fails, the city will have the resources to remove the protestors and their vehicles, drawing on assistance from the Ontario, and perhaps Michigan, governments. The city also has requested help from the RCMP.
The Ontario Provincial Police had much stronger and more visible presence in the area Friday.
With auto parts shipments across the Ambassador Bridge at a standstill, numerous assembly plants across Ontario shortened shifts this week, sending workers home because of a lack of parts.
Shane Wark, assistant to Unifor President Jerry Dias, said the blockade is just the latest issue in a tough couple years for Ontario’s auto workers.
“There’s been a whole, just relentless amount of layoff weeks that have occurred across the auto parts and the OEM assembly plants,” Wark told Automotive News Canada.
Wark said Unifor does not question the right to protest, but the blockade has “gone beyond that” and is harming workers and their families.
Meanwhile, there is mounting concern that the blockade will damage Canada’s reputation as a reliable trading partner as well as the competitiveness of its auto industry.
Competition for auto investment especially as the industry moves toward electrification is intense, Brian Kingston, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, said at a news conference Thursday.
“When issues like blockades arise, it is a worry.”