A national organization representing skilled workers believes that hiring 900 foreign workers to install equipment at an electric-vehicle (EV) battery plant in Windsor, Ont. is insulting to Canadian tradespeople. They think the jobs should be given to trained Canadians, especially workers in southwestern Ontario. NextStar plans to hire 1,600 technicians to assemble and install equipment, including 900 specialized workers from South Korea. Stellantis and South Korean company LG Energy Solution are the partners creating the $15 billion plant, which received government subsidies. The company maintains that the temporary staff will only be on site for three to 18 months before returning home, and they will also assist with training Ontario workers. While the federal and provincial governments support the use of foreign workers, Ontario’s construction groups maintain that local skilled tradespeople can handle the jobs themselves and insist the company and government engage in dialogue with industry to ensure that happens in Windsor. The federal industry minister has pledged to meet with the companies and unions to find a compromise. Meanwhile, other experts have said that involving foreign workers is customary in setting up new projects, particularly in the field of electric vehicles.

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