Workers shocked and frustrated at closure announcement at Owen Illinois

    TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - The 430 workers at Owen Illinois (formerly
Consumer Glass) in Toronto were informed this morning that as of September 30,
they would be out of work. The workers, represented by CAW Local 29, were
shocked to receive the news only a week and a half after signing a new
collective agreement.
    The agreement, ratified on July 17, was a one-year term at the request of
the company, so that it could sort out its long term business plan. The
company did not mention at this time that it was considering closing the
    Tony Maio, president of CAW Local 29, said that the workers are extremely
disheartened and betrayed at the sudden change, with many wondering what they
will do next.
    In the last five years, more than 350,000 manufacturing jobs have
disappeared from the country. "The high rate of manufacturing job loss means
that the odds of finding another a job with family-supporting wages are
extremely slim," said Maio. "This is especially sad because many are nearing
retirement, but are not yet able to leave the workplace."
    The workers have anywhere from 20-42 years seniority, with the majority
being women and first generation immigrants in their late 40s and early 50s.
    The plant once employed 1200 workers at its peak in the 1970s.

For further information:

For further information: National Representative Paulo Ribeiro, (cell)
(416) 302-3966; CAW Communications Director Shannon Devine, (cell) (416)
302-1699; CAW Local 29 President Tony Maio, (office) (416) 232-3046

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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