Workers Shocked by Simmon's Canada Plant Closure

September 9, 2008, 1:25 PM EST

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Simmons Canada's decision to close its Ontario manufacturing plant is not a result of the dispute between the company and CAW Local 513 members, said Hemi Mitic, assistant to the CAW National President.

The 145 CAW members who work at this Brampton, Ontario plant have been on legal strike since August 15.

Contrary to what the company has indicated publically this labour dispute has not created an economic reason for the plant to close.

"From the first day the company began dismantling production equipment and within a few days, key pieces of production equipment had been prepared for removal and placed on loading docks," said Mitic.

The company has been demanding massive concessions from workers. The CAW has been in bargaining with the company since May.

With this closure announcement the company is obliged to bargain with the union for severance pay, termination pay and other outstanding wage and benefit items owing this hard working group of employees, Mitic said.

"In the view of the union it strongly appears the company is attempting to establish a phony justification for not paying these workers their severance pay by claiming the economic impact of the dispute caused the plant to close," Mitic said.

"It's now very clear the company was planning this closure for months," said Mitic. The union has been inundated with demands to boycott the product, but Mitic said that remains premature at this stage.

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