Workers Devastated by MTD Closure, Government Inaction Ensures More to Come, CAW Says

    KITCHENER, ON, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - This afternoon the 240 workers at
lawnmower and snowblower manufacturer MTD Products in Kitchener received the
devastating blow that their plant would be closing as of October 31. The
servicing and warehouse operations will remain open indefinitely, which employ
35 people. The workers are represented by CAW Local 1524.
    In May 2007, MTD had threatened to close but the union worked with the
company to find cost savings in the operations. Today workers were told that
the high Canadian dollar and the declining U.S. economy have taken too much of
a toll on the business.
    "It's not just people's jobs that are disappearing, with each plant that
closes, the Canadian middle class is being wiped out," said Jerry Dias,
assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove.
    "It's critical that government use the tools at their disposal instead of
being passive in the face of what could become an economic avalanche of more
bad news and even higher unemployment. People cannot feed their families on
government excuses. We need government leadership and industrial policies that
support local economies."
    The closure announcement comes on the heels of other major layoffs and
closures such as General Motor's Truck plant closure in Oshawa, a permanent
layoff of nearly 200 people at Martinrea's Kitchener Frame for mid-October
with more to follow, a closure at Engel Plastics in Guelph in May with
225 jobs lost and a closure at Ledco in Kitchener in January with nearly
100 jobs lost.
    In the last five years more than 350,000 manufacturing jobs have been
lost across the country.

For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell)
(416) 302-1699; Assistant to CAW National President, Jerry Dias, (cell) (416)
315-1576; CAW Local 1524 President, Tim Mitchell, (cell) (519) 749-5110

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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