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Old 02-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default Railroad strike idles Ford plant in Canada

Railroad strike idles Ford plant in Canada

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, shut down production today at an Ontario plant because a strike at Canadian National Railway Co. delayed parts shipments, Bloomberg News reported today.

The St. Thomas, Ontario, factory has lost production since Feb. 13 and wasn't able to operate one full shift yesterday, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's vice president of North American manufacturing, said in an interview. The plant will attempt to resume building vehicles early next week, he said.

Other Ford operations in Canada were operating today, spokeswoman Lauren More said.

The St. Thomas plant produces Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis sedans and relies more on rail shipments for parts than other Ford factory in Canada. About 2,800 conductors and yard workers at Montreal-based Canadian National represented by the United Transportation Union walked out on Feb. 10.

"We have parts in the system," Hinrichs said of the delays caused by the strike. "The problem is they're all tied up."

Ford also is starting to move parts to the St. Thomas factory by truck, he said.
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