Steelworkers out on the street following sudden closure of Premier Wire Limited

    ALEXANDRIA, ON, Aug. 29 /CNW/ - Members of the United Steelworkers plan
to show up for work as usual on Tuesday morning to protest the sudden closure
of Premier Wire Limited.
    The Quebec-owned plant closed suddenly on Thursday and locked its doors,
ahead of a scheduled closure expected in September 4, with the possibility of
an extension to Sept. 30. The union is investigating whether the sudden,
mid-day shutdown is an unfair labour practice and what the employees are owed,
including termination pay, severance and the employees' boot allowance.
    Earlier this year the company, owned by Quebec-based Norfil Inc.,
announced that it would shut down following its stall tactics in negotiations.
The company had demanded major wage and other cutbacks but refused to provide
any audited statements to backs the demand for concessions.
    "In a small community, this is a tragic turn of events," said USW
Representative Dorthothy McRae-Golden. "Long-term and loyal employees are
angry and frustrated with how they have been treated."
    USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser said runaway companies like
Premier Wire should be made more accountable.
    "These carpetbagging companies destroy families and communities," he
said. "Our governments need to be more proactive in holding them to account
for their actions. This is another example of the loss of manufacturing in
this province, which continues while the McGuinty government sits on its
    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, (613) 260-7205, ext. 233;
(613) 678-7499

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