A handful of temporary workers from South Korea have arrived in Windsor to staff up a new Stellantis electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant, according to officials with the Ontario government, raising concerns that massive taxpayer subsidies could be used to employ international auto workers over Canadians.
Construction on a gigafactory, a joint venture between Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions, resumed over the summer after the company received $15 billion in performance incentives from both the federal and provincial governments to produce hundreds of thousands of batteries over 10 years.
The rescue package — designed to compete with the subsidies offered under the United States’s Inflation Reduction Act — was pitched by politicians as a deal that would save thousands of auto sector jobs in the domestic labour market.
“I think this is a historic deal, it’s a great agreement and it protects the thousands of jobs quite frankly that were at stake,” Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said of the 2,500 people the company promised to employ.
Questions began swirling, however, after temporary foreign workers from South Korea started arriving in the city with indications that more than a thousand international workers could be landing in Windsor in 2024.
On Thursday, Windsor Police posted photos of a meeting with the South Korean Ambassador Lim Woong Son on X (formerly Twitter) to discuss the “South Korean workforce coming to our community.”
“With the new LGEnergy Solutions battery plant being built, we expect approximately 1,600 South Koreans traveling to work and live in our community in 2024,” the force said on social media.
While the provincial government declined to offer details of the contract signed withRead more on globalnews.ca