Gov't action needed to keep G.E. jobs, 'green' technology in Ontario

    OAKVILLE, ON, Aug. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest energy workers'
union says the Ontario Premier should hang his head in shame at his
government's lack of action to keep jobs in the province, following today's
announcement by GE-Canada that it will cease all operations at its Oakville
Lamp Plant.
    "With the closure of the operations in Oakville there will be the
transfer of one of the most advanced and efficient fluorescent manufacturing
machines in the world to a U.S. facility in Bucyrus, Ohio," says Bob Huget,
Ontario Vice-President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union,
which represents the 160 workers who will lose their jobs.
    "It's a tragedy for these workers and another blow to our economy, and it
was entirely preventable," says Huget, noting that "the plant's 'green'
technology was funded by Ontario taxpayers."
    "It is our understanding that in 1994, GE-Canada received substantial
financial assistance from the Ontario Government to build the state-of-the-art
fluorescent bulb machine.
    "Now we believe that G.E. is moving this energy-efficient technology to
the U.S. to manufacture a product -- with Ohio State financial assistance and
tax credits -- that will then be shipped back here to be sold.
    "Not only do we see the loss of 160 well-paid jobs but also the loss of
our 'green' manufacturing capacity so that it can bring economic rewards to
Ohio. Despite CEP's calls for an Ontario Jobs-Protection Commissioner to
prevent just this sort of disaster, the McGuinty government has done zero in
the way of job protection," adds Huget.
    This closure of operation will impact 160 hourly workers and 20 salaried
    The Oakville Lamp Plant was opened in 1947 and covers over 27 acres of
land. It employed over 500 workers at one time and operates one of most
efficient fluorescent bulb machines in the world. The t-8 lamp bulb is in
demand as it is one of the most efficient light bulb for commercial,
industrial and household use.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Huget, (613) 299-9839 or Joel Carr, CEP
National Representative, (416) 988-9340

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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