Closure Agreement at Woodbridge Foam in Tilbury

July 20, 2011, 3:45 PM EST

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CAW members working at Woodbridge Foam in Tilbury, Ontario have ratified a closure agreement, covering the location's more than 170 workers.

The closure was announced unexpectedly in mid-June during a round of contract talks. The possible closure date is not yet known.  

"People are frustrated and upset about losing their jobs, but our members are pleased with what we were able to achieve on their behalf for the closure arrangement," said CAW national representative Rick Garant. 

He said that although the closure package is in place as a safeguard, he and the bargaining committee have not given up on the possibility of keeping the plant open with new business. A committee has been struck with the hope of bringing new business into the facility.

CAW Local 127 plant chairperson Rick Quenneville told The Tilbury Times that he believes the closure package is a good one. "I prefer it was staying open, but if it's not, this is a very good package. People were very happy -not that the plant was closing -but with the plant wind-down/ closure package."

The closure agreement includes pension protection and grown-ins for those who qualify, a signing bonus, improved severance pay, funds for an adjustment centre to assist members who lose their job as a result of the closure, transfer rights to Woodbridge Foam's Kipling operation with full seniority. Should the plant re-open, workers will be called back or re-hired according to seniority.

Workers at Woodbridge Foam manufacture seats for the auto industry.

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