Shermag in Lennoxville this afternoon - Closure for an indefinite period

    ST-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, QC, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The 45 Steelworkers at
Shermag in Lennoxville have just learned that their plant will be closing for
an indefinite period of time. They will be laid off eight weeks from now. The
reason given by the company is a substantial drop in the order book. "Our
members have been living with uncertainty for several years now. This decision
does nothing to reassure them. We are aware that the market is difficult in
the furniture industry, but we must react. We are still waiting to hear the
company's strategy for consolidating and developing new niches," declared
Martin Courville, Staff Representative of the United Steelworkers (FTQ).
    The company has decided to transfer its chair assembly operations to
Granby. The Lennoxville plant will become a warehouse. In the best case, we
will keep four or five members in shipping. "However, the company has assured
us that it does not intend to sell the machines, or to transfer them, for the
time being," explained the union representative.
    "At present, the components used to manufacture the chairs come from
China. We do the assembly. We are certain of one thing: we are part of the
solution. Despite attempting to reduce wage costs by having work done in
China, the company is not managing to move forward. What proactive strategy
does it have to revitalize the furniture industry here in Québec? We still
don't know," Martin Courville concluded.
    Just a few years ago, the factory had over 200 employees.

For further information:

For further information: Martin Courville, United Steelworkers (FTQ),
(450) 359-4441

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