Brantford, Ontario – Workers at an auto parts plant in Brantford, Ontario were told that they should not expect any severance pay in the event the plant is closed, according to the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW).
The union met with representatives of Meridian Automotive Systems following demonstrations in front of the company’s facility. The protest was sparked when workers learned that one of Meridian’s major customers was attempting to remove its tools and molding from the plant.
Meridian’s assets were recently put up for sale, except for six of the company’s North American facilities, including the Brantford plant. The company makes a variety of plastic molding components for several companies, including Honda and Xerox.
“The plant is currently running at reduced capacity and heading into a regularly scheduled summer shutdown period when word came out that the plant was being hollowed out,” said Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW president. “It’s a slap in the face to these workers who have worked tirelessly for this employer. It’s simply outrageous.”
The union said that the company has refused to commit to paying severance in the event of a closure, as required by law, and has refused to recommit to reopening the facility following the summer shutdown.
Dias said the demonstration would continue outside the plant until there is resolve on the issue of severance payments. The plant is still fully operational with a skeleton staff working as scheduled. The plant currently employs 90 workers, down from a peak of 600 in 2000.