Closure of Sterling Truck Huge Blow to Region, CAW President says

October 14, 2008, 12:21 PM EST

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The October 14 closure announcement of Sterling Truck in St. Thomas, Ontario is devastating news for the workers and their families and will have dramatic consequences for the community, CAW President Ken Lewenza said.  

The region has already been plagued by manufacturing job loss with shift reductions at Ford's St. Thomas assembly plant and recent lay-offs at Magna-owned Formet Industries and 3M in London.

The March 2009 closure of Sterling will mean the loss of 1,300 jobs at the plant.  Approximately 700 of these workers will be laid off as of November 7. At its peak the facility employed 2,200 people. The workers are represented by CAW Local 1001.

"This is another example of the loss of hundreds highly-skilled, family-supporting jobs which cannot be replaced by the slew of recently created part-time jobs," said Lewenza.

"This is the direct result of the Conservative government's complete lack of vision for the Canadian auto industry and manufacturing sector as a whole and should not be forgotten. These jobs are crucial to the economic health of our country."

This will also mean greater job loss across the region as more spin off jobs are lost in the parts industry, said Lewenza. 

Around the same time the Sterling plant closes, the company will be opening a new plant in Mexico, a move that Lewenza says is no coincidence.

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