Toronto, Ontario – Two auto parts manufacturers in Ontario are closing their facilities, affecting some 2,250 people, according to the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW).

CAW workers at Polywheels Manufacturing in Oakville, Ontario received notice that the 20-year-old auto parts supplier will close, with a loss of 250 jobs. Polywheels has supplied parts to various North American auto and heavy manufacturing operations over the years, including General Motors’ Oshawa truck plant, which is scheduled to close in 2009. The company cited the high Canadian dollar, high fuel prices and announcement of the GM closure as main reasons for closing the plant. At its peak production year in 2003, Polywheels employed over 300 workers.

The CAW has also provided support to a group of non-union workers after Progressive Moulded Products announced the closure of eleven facilities in the Toronto area, slashing over 2,000 jobs. Workers in the 41-year-old company, which recently gained court protection from creditors after declaring bankruptcy, set up a blockade on July 4 to protest the company’s offer of severance payments which they said were well below what was entitled to them under law. Progressive Moulded Products had manufactured plastic instrument panels for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, and cited a heavy debt load and declining business from the automakers as reason for the closures.

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