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Guardian Report - August 08
August 8, 2008 - 12:00pm EST
I write this report with a heavy heart; as yet another plant is closed. Officially Plastech closed their doors on May 16, 2008 putting over 300 employees out of work. The effects of this plant closure are felt throughout the community, as surely as all of the plant closures are felt throughout the province. As hard as we tried to keep the company running, there was nothing that we could do. In the end we could have scaled back to $5 an hour and it still wouldn’t have helped, not that we would have scaled back to $5 an hour. The point is that the economy we are in, in many cases is making it impossible to save jobs, no matter how creative we get in trying to preserve them. It blows my mind, that our government can spend countless millions in foreign affairs, yet will just simply sit idle as thousands and thousands of families, in our own home suffer. Whatever happened to taking care of our own first? Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud to live in a country that does so much good throughout the world, yet I don’t see the logic in taking care of everyone else before ourselves. Our Government would rather appease the wants of Foreign Government through unfair trade agreements, than address the needs of our own taxpaying citizens. How does this happen? Not only has the government failed in trying to maintain work in a failing economy, they have also failed all those that have lost their jobs. As company after company file for bankruptcy in our country, secured creditors are paid thousands, even millions of dollars, while those employees who labored and carried the company are left with nothing. How is this fair? As far as I am concerned, employees should not only be considered a secured creditor, but should be considered FIRST among the secured creditors. To a degree, Plastech employees are fortunate in that they received severance, while so many have not, but the reason that they did receive any thing has nothing to do with our Government, but rather the strength and dedication of our union, who bargained severance packages with Chrysler for our members. This is not how it should be. The Big Three should not be on the hook for our severance, but rather our government should force our parent companies to pay their employees severance and in-lieu-of-notice first and foremost before all other secured creditors. As like so many other companies, plastech employees did not receive any of the in-lieu-of –notice pay that they were owed. Our members were given two weeks’ notice of the plant closure and that was it. Again, nothing from the government to help secure what is owed to them. Plastech is now closed, and the plant is for sale, and we work to help our members get readjusted to re-enter to work force. Perhaps if we push hard enough we can convince the government to change their policies to not only protect the severance and other monies owed to workers during plant closures, but to also to help stop plant closures in the first place and secure and protect current and future jobs in this great country that we live in.
An action centre has been opened at County Fair Mall in Leamington (right beside Zellers) for all Plastech employees looking for adjustment back into the work force.

Peterson Springs

In May, we entered into early negotiations with Peterson Springs Kingsville Plant right on the heels of the announcement of the Windsor Plant closing. On June 7, we ratified a 3 year agreement that froze the wages for another 3 years, as well as froze the COLA for 18 months. Preferential hiring procedures for employees who are losing their job at Peterson Springs Windsor Plant, and a commitment for new work to come to the Kingsville plant were highlights of this agreement. Congratulations to the committee, Vickie Necic, Walter Hrutka, and Jason Smith who despite being faced with a tough economic environment to bargain in, did a good job.

 
   
 
 
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Last Updated: September 12, 2008 11:04:42 AM