Trimag in Boisbriand - Closing in June

    STE-THERESE, QC, April 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Last night, management at Trimag
in Boisbriand, a sub-contractor for GM, informed its 160 workers gathered
together at the plant for a special assembly, that it was seeking protection
under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act and intended to completely shut
down operations in June 2009. "The company has made a commitment to respect
the collective agreement in its entirety. This means that workers have the
right to their severance pay, vacations, defined benefits pension plan as well
as other negotiated benefits. We want to explore all possible avenues to
re-launch the company. Quebec continues to lose good jobs. We need to react,"
declared Denis Lévesque, United Steelworkers (FTQ) representative.
    Vice president of Amalgamated local section 2008, Bruno Cyr, explained
that the company is not, in any way whatsoever, holding its workers
responsible for the closing. "Management, he said, informed us that GM had
increasingly challenging requirements that decreased the Boisbriand company's
room for manoeuvre. Competition from Asian countries in the magnesium sector
and the closing down of Quebec's Norsk Hydro further contributed to increasing
the price of magnesium. The company invested 10 million dollars in 2008 and
attempted to diversify in an effort to reduce its dependence on the automotive
industry, but was unsuccessful. Experts cannot even predict what's going to
happen over the next three years in terms of magnesium. However, Trimag is not
planning on dismantling the plant. GM will recover its matrixes and software.
The plant's equipment will remain on-site and it's a new building."
    The union president of the plant, Jean-François Tremblay, stated that the
union will soon set up a relocation committee. "The average age of union
members is 30 years old, he said. Most have a vocational training diploma in
foundry. Several are toolmaker/operators or electromechanical engineers. We
are optimistic that we will be able to find jobs for our people. In any case,
we'll be doing all we can to help our members. It's sad that a company we have
seen grow must shut down its operations. I've been here since the beginning.
We negotiated a good work contract. Our working conditions were getting
better. The plant was expanding. We were producing quality."
    Trimag, a magnesium smelter specialized in the production of automotive
parts for GM, began its operations in June 2002. The Fonds de solidarité got
involved when the business first started. In 2004, Spectra Premium, with its
head office in Boucherville, purchased the company. In 2005, United
Steelworkers (FTQ) signed a five-year work contract. In 2008, the company
doubled the plant's overall area and invested some 10 million dollars.
Operations will be shut down June 27, 2009.

For further information:

For further information: Denis Lévesque, United Steelworkers (FTQ),
(450) 430-9220; Bruno Cyr,  United Steelworkers (FTQ), Amalgamated local
section 2008, (450) 419-1076; Jean-François Tremblay, United Steelworkers
(FTQ), Local section 2008, (450) 419-1076

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