Chrysler workers on over-time for big order (US military wants 19,000minivans, 5,000 Pacificas)

Discussion in 'Pacifica' started by MoPar Man, May 23, 2005.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Good luck cutting a deal on a minivan or Pacifica. I've heard that
    anyone ordering anything off the line won't get it before the end of
    the year...

    CNN is also quoting the story:


    Chrysler workers on OT for big order
    U.S. military wants 19,000 minivans, 5,000 Pacificas
    Chris Vander Doelen
    Windsor Star
    Saturday, May 21, 2005

    A huge U.S. military order for 24,000 minivans and Pacificas means
    DaimlerChrysler Canada employees can work overtime most Saturdays,
    holidays and even some Sundays until mid-July if they want to.

    Company sources say the U.S. armed forces have ordered 19,000 minivans
    and 5,000 Pacificas for use as light-duty vehicles in the U.S., Iraq
    and elsewhere in the world. It is believed the light gasoline-powered
    vehicles will replace the diesel-powered Humvees in use as light
    personnel carriers on U.S. bases around the world to reduce fuel

    The U.S. military has been increasingly concerned about fuel
    consumption in recent years, and its commanders have complained
    publicly that the diesel-guzzling Humvee is extremely inefficient in
    non-combat use to ferry a few soldiers at a time around base.

    Ten thousand of the minivans -- all gold-coloured -- will be built at
    the Chrysler Group's St. Louis assembly plant, 9,000 at the Windsor
    plant. Windsor is the sole source of the Pacifica, so its employees
    get to fill the lion's share of the order, 14,000 vehicles.

    Asked about the huge order this week, Frank Ewasyshyn, executive
    vice-president of manufacturing for DaimlerChrysler, would only grin
    and say that "Sales are great."

    Asked to confirm that the Windsor plant and its suppliers have been
    told they will be working double time on Monday and every Saturday
    until the shutdown in mid July in order to fill the military order,
    Ewasyshyn kept grinning and saying: "sales are great. We're running
    full tilt."

    The company does not comment on overtime shifts scheduled more than
    one week in the future.

    Buzz Hargrove, president of the CAW, said he hadn't heard of the order
    before leaving Canada for Vienna, Austria on Thursday. "But if Frank
    (Ewasyshyn) says that, then it must be true. And if it's true that's
    great news," he said.

    Word of the large order spread among Windsor Chrysler employees on May
    13. The plant started producing the first of the order in the framing
    shop on May 14. The minivans are said to be "regular minivans with a
    few upgrades," according to one source.

    Supervisors had been trying to line up enough workers for three
    eight-hour shifts on Friday, three six-hour shifts today and two
    shifts Monday.

    Today's shift pays time-and-a-half, one worker said, but the Friday
    and Monday shifts pay triple time because autoworkers traditionally
    get four days off for the Victoria Day weekend.

    "They say the U.S. government has put their down payment on the
    vehicles and we're building 'em already," said a plant source whose
    information is usually reliable. "They're supposed to be going to Iraq
    as taxis and stuff."

    "This is great for us going into negotiations," the plant worker said.
    "If you ordered a van right now, you'd have to wait for an '06 because
    we've got so many orders."

    Not all Windsor DCX employees were pleased about the overtime,
    however. "Happy bloody Fathers' Day," one unhappy worker e-mailed The
    Windsor Star this week. "Out of 30 days in June, 28 are now
    scheduled," the unnamed worker complained.

    But another line operator, who asked not to be named, said he isn't
    complaining because the extra hours are "all voluntary."

    He said supervisors were also canvassing to find enough volunteers to
    allow shifts to run on two Sundays next month, June 5 and June 19.
    "They'll probably get their numbers," the worker said.
    MoPar Man, May 23, 2005
  2. Couldn't you just see a new minivan tooling around with a big M16 on a
    turrent and a
    guy with a rocket launcher poking out the top? I want one!

    Ted Mittelstaedt, May 30, 2005
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