CAW Members Protest Abrupt Closure of Auto Parts Facility in Ajax

June 23, 2009, 6:27 PM EST

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CAW Local 1090 members in Ajax, Ontario have set up a blockade outside the BBI Enterprises auto parts facility after receiving news the plant will close almost two months earlier than initially expected.

BBI Enterprises announced the closure of its only Canadian facility on June 18, which supplies insulated hoods and dashboards to Chrysler, General Motors and Toyota. The company informed the union that it planned to wind down its operations over the course of six to eight weeks.

Workers were notified of the accelerated closure shortly after arriving at work on the morning of June 23 and promptly told to go home, said CAW Local 1090 President Steve Batchelor.

"This sudden closure has left our members in a complete state of shock, and was done in complete distaste," Batchelor said, noting the company indicated that it did not have the necessary funds to keep operating. "This could potentially leave the 68 active and laid-off members working at this plant with no pay for outstanding wages, including severance and termination."

Workers set up a blockade outside the plant on June 23 in protest of the company's decision. Part of the concern is that the automakers have not paid outstanding money owed to the parts manufacturer, which is one of the reasons the BBI plant is closing, said Batchelor. 

Union members have blocked attempts by some of the automakers from removing their parts and moulds from the facility until they help BBI arrange a severance package for workers.

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