Canadian Plastics

Work resumes at Collins & Aikman Scarborough plant

Employees at a Collins & Aikman plastic parts facility in Scarborough, Ont. are back at work this week after Chrysl...

April 2, 2007   Canadian Plastics

Employees at a Collins & Aikman plastic parts facility in Scarborough, Ont. are back at work this week after Chrysler agreed to pay a portion of the severance pay for laid off workers.

More than 100 disgruntled employees occupied and barricaded the facility over the weekend after the company refused to pay severance to 200 workers. According to representatives from the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, bankrupt automotive parts supplier Collins & Aikman did not intend to honour nearly $6 million owed to the workers in severance pay.The CAW Local 303 members moved into the facility early on Saturday, using assets that were going to be transported out of the facility as leverage.

“We needed collateral to make them pay, and the collateral was in the molds that they were trying to sneak out over the weekend,” said CAW Local 303 national representative Brian Stevens. “The had the molds loaded up on skids.”

Managers were asked to leave the facility, and all production was halted at the Scarborough plant. This particular plant only manufactures plastic parts for Chrysler.

The occupation of the facility ended after Chrysler agreed to pay $1.8 million of the owed amount. CAW Local 303 also received a guarantee from Collins & Aikman for $1.4 million in severance pay.

CAW is now turning its focus on a soft trim plant in Ingersoll, Ont. for the remainder of the owed amount. Ford Motor Company agreed to pay $1.45 million for its share of the past production it has received from the plant on Monday, and the CAW is still pressuring General Motors.

The Scarborough, Ont. facility is one of the facilities scheduled to close in July, and the company is currently in the process of liquidating its assets.

“You work in a facility for thirty years, and you are seeing your job being reduced to a dollar figure to satisfy some bankers,” said Stevens. “Of course you are going to be mad as hell.”

Collins & Aikman also announced on Monday that it had signed an asset purchase agreement with Troy, Mich.-based Cadence Innovation LLC for the sale of nine of its plastic facilities in the US, Canada and Mexico. The plants produce parts for the North American domestic automakers, and collectively employ approximately 3,500 people.


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