Sapa Must Provide Retraining and Other Services Following Plant Closure, Steelworkers Say

LANGLEY, BC, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Sapa Extrusions, part of the Sweden-based multinational Sapa Group, has informed the United Steelworkers (USW) that it is closing its Port Coquitlam plant and permanently laying off all unionized employees.

Sapa said Wednesday its aluminum extruding facility on Coast Meridian Way will close by March 7, 2011.

Fifty-one members of USW Local 2009, currently working or on layoff, are affected by the sudden announcement.

The union is requesting that Sapa provide employment counselling, retraining opportunities, counselling for families and other services that may be necessary to ease the impact of the job losses.

"We are asking Sapa to do the right thing by providing assistance to their employees at a hard time," says USW Western Canada staff representative Steve Dewell.

"Some of these workers have 30-40 years service to this company and its predecessor owners."

Sapa purchased Indalex in 2009. In that year it closed Indalex's Calgary plant, which also employed United Steelworkers members.

"The company has been consolidating production facilities in North America. The work from Port Coquitlam will go down to Sapa's Portland operations," says Dewell. "Once again we are seeing the loss of good-paying, family supporting jobs in Canada, which adds to the manufacturing crisis in BC and Canada.

"Sapa is assuring its customers there will be no interruption in service during this transition to Portland," says Dewell. "We also hope the company will be fair to its employees, many of whom have spent their working lives at this plant."

The United Steelworkers represents 225,000 workers in all sectors of the Canadian economy.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Steve Dewell, 604-513-1850 or 604-996-7883


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