Community Shaken by Announcement of John Deere Closure

September 2, 2008, 5:30 PM EST


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Workers at the John Deere plant in Welland were shocked by the terrible news that their plant would be closing next year, with production moving to the U.S. and Mexico. All workers in the facility learned the news at an afternoon meeting on September 2.

One third of the work will be moved out in November of this year to the U.S., with the balance to go to Mexico by the November 2009 closure date. The company has assured the union that there will no layoffs until spring of 2009.

The plant has been around for approximately 100 years, with 600 of the 800 workers represented by CAW Local 275.

CAW National President Buzz Hargrove said that this announcement is especially disturbing in the light of the massive manufacturing job loss that has already occurred in the region.

"We will be contacting the federal, provincial and municipal governments immediately to intervene to keep this facility open," said Hargrove.

"While workers are suffering from job loss, it is the Harper government that should bear the brunt of the responsibility for this closure. This government's utter insensitivity to the plight of working Canadians is shameful and must come to an end."

"In my 16 years as president of the union, I have never seen such governmental indifference," said Hargrove.

CAW Local 275 President Tom Napper said that this closure announcement is a disaster for the Niagara region. "Now, there are so few places to work -this was one facility that was looked to as a positive example in the community and without proper political intervention, it may be gone too."

Workers at the plant produce gators, loaders & cutters.

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