Steelworkers call for decent severance for workers about to lose employment at Premier Wire

    ALEXANDRIA, ON, June 6 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) Ontario/Atlantic
Director said Thursday workers who have been employed for decades at Premier
Wire Limited deserve decent severance now that the plant's owner, Quebec-based
Norfil Inc., has announced a permanent closure as of June 20.
    "The union wants to negotiate a package for these workers that recognizes
the hard work and contribution they have made since the plant was
locally-owned," said Fraser.
    Earlier this year the USW was preparing to sit down to regular
negotiations with Premier Wire. The company refused to bargain and instead
went directly to workers demanding they take significant pay cuts and other
concessions or risk closure. The management and owners then refused to provide
any audited statements to back up the demand for concessions and finally
announced that it was shutting its doors.
    "The union has yet to be able to sit down and seriously discuss
severance," said USW Representative Dorothy McRae-Golden. "This is
unacceptable to our members, their families and the community. This company
has a moral obligation to make a proper exit and treat these workers fairly."
    Prior to the current ownership, Premier Wire had been a good employer in
the community since 1965, becoming one of Canada's top manufacturers of wire
deck grids, displays and storage equipment. Alexandria is a town within the
township of Glengarry located between Ottawa and Cornwall.

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

For further information:

For further information: Dorothy McRae-Golden (USW Representative),
(613) 260-7205, ext. 233

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