Workers Shocked at Sudden Closure of Historic Siemens Plant

March 11, 2010, 2:24 PM EST

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Workers are reeling after the abrupt announcement by Siemens Fossil Power Generation that it plans to close its Hamilton turbine facility as of July 2011. The announcement is being made across the operation's three shifts and will put 550 people out of work, nearly 350 of who are represented by CAW Local 504.

"Only two years ago, I toured this plant with the upper management of Siemens where I heard all about how productive and valuable our members were to the Siemens operations - now it seems the company has performed a brash about-face and plans to dump a plant that has been in the city of Hamilton for more than 100 years," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.

"This is entirely unacceptable. Instead of keeping the work in Canada, where the facility is equipped to produce the turbines, the company is choosing to send it to Charlotte, North Carolina where it will put $130 million into an expansion. That expansion should happen here in the city of Hamilton.

"This is devastating news for the hundreds of workers employed at the facility and the entire Hamilton community, which has already been hard-hit by the crisis in manufacturing and the downturn in the economy," said Randy Smith, president of CAW Local 504. 

"Do not expect the CAW to take this lightly," Lewenza said, pledging that the union will fight this closure announcement.


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