Owen Sound, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has announced that the PPG plant in Owen Sound, Ontario will close its doors in 2009. The 41-year-old factory manufactures flat-glass window panes for the automotive industry, and for residential and building construction.
Members of the CAW Local 248 working at the plant were setting up dates to begin collective bargaining with PPG later this month, just before news of the closure was announced. The collective agreement, which is still in effect, will expire on September 30, 2008.
“It’s heart-wrenching to know that we’ll be shifting our focus toward a closure agreement, rather than making gains for members in our next collective agreement,” said Jack Cutting, president of Local 248. He said the closure was not anticipated and was devastating news for the community.
Local 248 members, formerly represented under the Owen Sound Glass Workers, joined the CAW following a merger in the mid-1990s. In the 1970s, the PPG Owen Sound plant employed more than 600 people. There are currently 170 workers employed at the facility, of which 140 are CAW members.