Closure of Historic Siemens Plant Sad Day for Hamilton

July 28, 2011, 10:30 AM EST


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The end of production this Friday at the historic Siemens gas turbine facility in Hamilton will be a difficult and sad day for workers and the local community.

With the loss of these 550 jobs, Hamilton has lost more than 31,000 manufacturing jobs over the last seven years.

"This Siemens closure marks a sad end to more than 100 years of top quality production by highly efficient, skilled and committed workers," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. "This closure absolutely could have been avoided," Lewenza said.

"The provincial government has failed to ensure that its resources were fully used to maintain these important manufacturing jobs for this large group of workers, their families and the community of Hamilton," Lewenza said. "It's another example of the government's failure to act to protect jobs in the manufacturing sector."

Randy Smith, President of CAW Local 504, blasted Siemens for selling the Hamilton jobs and moving them to Charlotte, North Carolina for "millions and millions of US dollars in government incentives and tax breaks."

He also said the provincial Liberal government has bought into the Samsung wind power business and given millions of tax dollars to Siemens to build wind turbine plants, "while doing nothing to protect our Hamilton jobs or to move work into our facility."

"Siemens continues to disrespect its workers by undercutting their efforts to put their severance pay in trust with the government and respect their recall rights," said Smith.
  
CAW Local 504 and the national union will continue fighting for 24 jobs, which will exist in the office building where up to 200 people will continue to be employed by Siemens. "We believe these jobs are covered by our hourly and salary contracts."

The closure of the Siemens plant puts 550 people out of work, including nearly 350 who are represented by CAW Local 504.

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