Monday, February 05, 2007

Some thoughts on Windsor

Windsor... pollution ridden, crazy drivers, in fact very Americanized, the butt end of Canada...

yet, it's home in many ways. I know that if I move off to somewhere else in Canada (say, in BC, Alberta, or just a different region of Ontario), Windsor will still be my home. Most of my family and friends live here.

Anyway, I was trying to discover the starting salaries of college (AKA St. Clair) teachers to see how they compared to high school teaching, which is more than I thought. A high school teacher with a master's degree starts at $50K/yr, 85K over 10yrs. Not too shabby.

I never did find out the St. Clair situation, butI discovered: Canada statistics on Labour. Here's a derived table that didn't surprise me:

Windsor's the hardest hit in unemployment over the past 6 years because it follows the industry. Why isn't London on here, or most areas around Toronto (note that Toronto is on the list)?

Diversification in industry.

London has auto, aero, and medical.

Windsor has.. auto.

Whoever's really in charge of Windsor, should look into trying to build-up at least one other industry in Windsor. This would take probably at least a few decades, but Windsor could become as big or bigger than London.

People ask me all the time now "so can you find a job in your field?"

Answer "very easily. The job market is very open now in most technical fields. However, there's nothing much in Windsor".


At 7:16 p.m., Blogger Zutroy said...

An argument can be made that Windsor made a move towards diversification tourism and hospitality industries when the casino was opened.

At 9:06 a.m., Blogger Medieval said...

Well that argument is bullshit.

The Casino doesn't work. That's just for people who are already making money in industry to give some money to the government (not all of which Windsor sees) and perhaps make a buck themselves :)

I mean an industry that creates a decent amount of high paying jobs - like the auto industry.

I suppose this new telephone support center isn't a bad deal though, that's 1000 jobs.

At 9:36 a.m., Blogger James said...

Tourism is definitely Windsor's #2 industry. But between the border issues, the smoking ban, and the two dollars being so close, there's very little incentive left for Americans to come over. All we need to do is raise the drinking age to 21 and no one will ever come over :)

The call centre is a good thing, as you said. 1000 jobs that require no training beforehand that pay over $10/hour is nothing to sneeze at. It may not be auto-shop money, but then what is?

I'm amazed that more people aren't freaked out about the current unemployment numbers. As it is we have the worst unemployment in Canada as far as 'big cities' are concerned, and we're starting to challenge those fishing towns out East.

The problem is that there are so many places in the country doing well that the politicians get to boast that Canada's unemployment is at a 30 year low, shuffling us under the rug. Wait until the axe officially falls at some of the Ford plants (Essex engine, etc), and I wouldn't be surprised to see a full-on recession in Windsor.

At 11:02 a.m., Blogger Medieval said...

I think that's a problem hurting our city from getting more auto jobs: our strong union.


It's not because they are causing losses of jobs at Ford, GM, or Chrysler -- those jobs would have been lost anyway, and the unions are fighting to keep any jobs they can. It's that they might very well be preventing other companies from building plants here.

It's because, Windsor needs a Toyota, Honda, etc plant -- one of the auto companies that is expanding, not shrinking.

However, these plants don't have unions, nor want unions (the ones in other parts of Ontario). Their plants and employees run happily and safe enough without unions. I'm not an anti-union guy, it's just their purpose is diluted compared to 80 years ago when they first became popular and were necessary.

Windsor being such a strong union town, would these guys allow it?

Hell, they even want Walmart under their wing. Somehow I don't think so.

At 11:54 a.m., Blogger James said...

That's a good point. It's funny you bring up Walmart, as the first unionized Walmart in Canada was in Windsor (I think).

But you're right, it'd be really interesting to see what would happen if Toyota opened a plant here and brought a bunch of jobs. I would think most people would be happy to be working, even if it was in a non-union factory.

I was talking to my dad this weekend, and he was telling me that the UAW/CAW contracts are up this year, so this is going to be quite the interesting negotiation. I think you'll see the workers giving a whole lot back to just keep their jobs.

At 6:16 p.m., Blogger Medieval said...

Plus the Casino doesn't work because it's meant to attract US customers.

Unfortunately, a large portion of US gambler's love to smoke, and can smoke at home in the US.. dollar almost the same.. little incentive.


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