CAMCO Closes - Victim Of Free Trade

Hamilton, Ontario

November 23, 2004


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CAMCO Closes - Victim Of Free Trade
CAMCO Closes - Victim Of Free Trade
dated November 23, 2004

Hamilton, Ontario
November 19, 2004
       Camco, Canada's last full-line appliance manufacturing plant has been shut down, leaving 600 workers and 400 laid off workers on the street. They are the latest victims of the Free Trade Agreement signed ten years ago by the Mulroney government according to Rick Cyrene, president of CAW Local 504.

Rick Cyrene
Pres CAW local 504

       "Ninety years in operation is gone as of today, thanks to free trade and our government's policies."

Byron Grant
Local 504

       "I'm not the government and I don't know what they need to do but one thing that I can tell them is pretty soon we are going to run out of money to buy stuff that is coming from other countries if you don't treat your own backyard right now."

Stella Foffano
Local 504

       "I think that eventually we'll be a third world nation and there will be the rich and the poor."

       Efforts by the Canadian Auto Workers union to get General Electric, owners of Camco, to save the plant were rejected out of hand, according to Cyrene.

Rick Cyrene
Pres CAW local 504

       "We've tried as a union to negotiate something to keep this plant open but we were told that if we could work for nothing it's still not going to save this plant. The business decision has been made; they can get cheaper somewhere else."

       Despite an estimated cost of 100 million dollars, General Electric, owners of Camco pulled the plug on the plant; shipped the jobs off to Korea and Mexico; and left the employees they once praised on the unemployment lines.

Peter Pealow
Local 504

       "They are a very ignorant person and I don't think I'll ever want another one of their appliances again. I don't care if I have to put my stuff on ice."



Lisa Ritchie
Local 504

       "When they just had a thing in the paper that they had the highest profit in years, it was just like adding salt to the wound for all of us in here when we are losing our jobs."

       The union negotiated Retiree packages and retraining grants up to five thousand dollars along with a severance package of 1 1/2 weeks pay per year for the first 20 years of seniority and two weeks for each year over twenty years.

Rick Cyrene
Pres CAW local 504

       "It's devastating to see a lot of my friends in here have to start over. Some of them will be lucky enough to find employment. Some have already but again they are taking six, seven, eight dollars an hour cut in their pay and it is going to be difficult for them to survive and try and raise families."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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