Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has responded to the announcement that the Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas, Ontario will close in March 2009, with a loss of 1,300 jobs. CAW president Ken Lewenza called it “devastasting news” for the workers and their families that will have dramatic consequences for the community.

St. Thomas has already lost jobs with shift reductions at Ford’s St. Thomas assembly plant, along with recent layoffs at Magna-owned Formet Industries, and 3M, in nearby London.

At its peak, Sterling employed 2,200 people. Approximately 700 of the 1,300 workers will be laid off as of November 4, 2008.

“This is another example of the loss of hundreds of highly-skilled, family-supporting jobs which cannot be replaced by the slew of recently created part-time jobs,” Lewenza said. He also said the closure will mean greater job loss across the region as more spin-off jobs are lost in the parts industry, and that the opening of a new Sterling plant in Mexico around the same time as the St. Thomas plant is “no coincidence.”

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