Canadian Plastics

Hallmark Technologies goes under (February 19, 2007)

Major mold, tool and die company Hallmark Technologies closed its doors on Thursday, leaving more than 150 employee...

February 19, 2007   Canadian Plastics

Major mold, tool and die company Hallmark Technologies closed its doors on Thursday, leaving more than 150 employees out in the cold.
Although the Windsor, Ont.-based company has not made an official comment to the press about the closure, day shift employees were reportedly told on Thursday that the company had declared bankruptcy. All employee activity was ceased at both of Hallmarks Windsor facilities, and employees were quickly notified of the situation.
Theyve completely gone bankrupt, everything is going to end up being liquidated, confirmed Canadian Association of Mouldmakers (CAMM) incoming president Dan Moynahan.
Due to the companys financial situation, Moynahan thinks that employees will not receive their vacation pay or back wages for the last weeks.
Prior to the companys closure, employees could also buy Class B, non-voting shares with a guaranteed 10 per cent return. Moynahan said employees would not be able to retrieve their funds.
Company executives did not return phone calls, and company president Tom Latouf could not be reached before press time. Many disgruntled employees have been speaking out against the companys abrupt closure.
CAMMs Moynahan notes that there was a combination of factors that led to the companys bankruptcy.
What caused them to go under was they really couldnt be competitive anymore, the lack of investment in new capital equipment, and a very large overhead, said Moynahan.
Less than a year ago, the 34-year-old company began a technical exchange program with Japanese moldmaker Yamaguchi Seiki. The move was intended to help the company improve its position in the international mold making industry.
At the time, company president and CEO Latouf seemed optimistic about the alliance between the two players.
We are steadily increasing our role within the global tooling market and this venture with Yamaguchi Seiki will allow us to expand our role with the Toyota manufacturing plants in North America, Latouf said in a company press release.
Moynahan worked for Hallmark for 20 years before moving on to helm automotive moldmaker Platinum Tool Technologies Inc. Some of the employees with Hallmark Technologies had been with the company since its infancy.
The city is really hurting big time in the mold area, he said. Where are these people going to get jobs?
There is also the fear that the closure will have a snowball effect on the subcontractors who are owed money by the bankrupt moldmaker. The assets will be liquidated to reimburse secured creditors, but Moynahan roughly estimates that Hallmark may have owed nearly $5 million to unsecured creditors.
Moynahan will be president of the CAMM effective March 1, and plans to hold a forum for mold shop owners on March 8. He wants to identify the issues facing the local community in the face of recent industry changes.
We have to do something about not just Hallmark but the whole city, its in a real struggle right now, he said. I think its time we did something about it as a community.


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