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Friday June 19th, 2015

Posted at 7:41pm

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CS Wind is changing their shift structure and has announced that a $3.3M safety, lighting and ventilation investment will roll out at the plant on Anchor Drive.

Officials say the company notified its employees of a change to the current shift structure, which will take effect July 13th.

Similar to other locally-based international manufacturing firms, the plant is moving to a three-shift operation – days, afternoons and midnights – and abandoning the 12-hour shift rotation the company currently employs.

“CS Wind Canada came to Windsor over four years ago to provide wind towers for the Ontario renewable energy program and ran long, hard days to meet the demand,” says CS Wind’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Jeff Heath. “We needed to find a way to operate a safe and efficient facility, and to make CS Wind Canada more competitive as a global supplier – not only for Ontario, but also for the rest of Canada and the United States.”

Since the launch of its Canadian operations in Windsor, Ontario in 2011, the company says they have produced over 1,000 wind towers, primarily for Ontario. The Windsor-based company currently employs over 500 people, and serves as a manufacturing facility for CS Wind Corp’s worldwide operations.

“The main reason for a three-shift operation is to enhance safety,” said Heath. “While the Ministry of Labour allows for 12-hour shifts in manufacturing plants, the Ministry has pointed out that working 12 consecutive hours in a heavy manufacturing, and a physically and mentally demanding environment, can result in health and safety issues.”

Heath says the three-shift operation will reduce CS Wind’s risk for accidents. “[It] helps us protect our employees while also building confidence with our customers.”

Heath also hinted at possible job losses that could result from the shift changes.

“CS Wind Canada’s management team deeply regrets any and all job losses as a result of this shift operation change,” he said.

Heath says the company has informed the Iron-workers Union of the decision to move to a three-shift format, which he says was under review prior to the Union being certified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board to represent the employees of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron-workers, Local 721, on June 3rd.

An Iron-workers Union official was in Windsor yesterday to meet with CS Wind Canada officials, in preparation for the announcement to employees.

“The recent investment by CS Wind Corp shows their commitment to the Windsor-Essex region and to CS Wind Canada,” says Heath. “The move to a three-shift operation is something we should have looked at a few years ago. It is a standard practice that many North American manufacturers use to increase efficiency and reduce work related injuries.”

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