A majority of Canadians — and especially those in Ontario — don’t believe automotive jobs in this country are secure, according to a recent national poll.
Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed by Forum Research Inc. say jobs in the auto industry aren’t secure. But 65 per cent of respondents in Ontario, where eight cities are home to assembly plants, share that sentiment.
General Motors and FCA have cast a cloud over the industry in that province. GM will cease assembly at its Oshawa plant at the end of the year and FCA will cut an entire shift at its Windsor factory come October.
“Based on what Canadians have seen or heard about the Canadian auto sector, half (47 per cent) of Canadians think the auto sector will decline over the next 10 years,” Forum said in a statement. “A third (31 per cent) think the Canadian auto sector will stay about the same.”
In hard-hit Ontario, the percentage that believes the sector will decline over the next decade climbs to 54 per cent.
“With shifts in the Canadian auto sector, it’s not surprising that Canadians don’t think auto jobs are secure,” Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, said in a statement. “Negativity is particularly prevalent among Ontarians, as they have experienced the brunt of these shifts to the industry.”
Only seven per cent of respondents say they believe the Canadian auto industry will grow over the next decade.
The industry directly currently employs more than 125,000 people, with an additional 400,000 people in aftermarket services and dealership networks, according to government statistics.
Five global automakers assemble about two million vehicles at their Canadian plants each year.
“With the federal election approaching, the auto sector will be an important topic,” Bozinoff said.
Forum conducted the survey by phone between June 28 and 30, speaking to 1,812 voters. Results are considered accurate to within three per cent, 19 times out of 20.