Excellent severance package does not replace lost jobs: Steelworkers

    KITCHENER, ON, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic
Director Wayne Fraser said Thursday that the union has bargained a severance
agreement with Nordia Inc. that will maintain employees' benefits for up to
five months and provide strong severance pay for employees when the company's
directory assistance service packs up for the Philippines starting in October.
    As well, the agreement says that every worker to be laid off will receive
an individual needs assessment on company time and at the company's expense.
There will be an Employment Insurance workshop and a continued employee
assistance program. Laid-off employees will be given preferential hiring
consideration for any future vacancies and all employees will receive letters
of reference.
    "This agreement is the result of our union taking a strong stand for our
members," said Fraser. "But it does not replace the jobs that will be
permanently lost to this community."
    Fraser said it is ironic that jobs at Nordia are the kind of employment
that politicians claim will replace the traditional manufacturing jobs now
draining out of the economy at a rapid pace.
    "The epidemic of job loss due to companies shipping jobs overseas is no
longer restricted to what right-wing politicians and economists call the 'old'
economy. Now it's happening in the sectors we've been told are creating new
jobs for Canadians.
    "This unregulated 'let-the-market-determine-the-future' mentality is bad
for working people and dead wrong for Canada. We plan to make this an issue in
every riding in the upcoming provincial election."

    The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 280,000
men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy.

For further information:

For further information: Brad James, (416) 243-8792; Jim Harvey, (519)

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