Worries about Accuride Canada's long-term prospects
With more job losses at Accuride Canada, which once employed hundreds of workers, there are now about 100 hourly employees.
Thirty jobs have been cut recently, at least temporarily.
Union officials say the plant is still managing to hang on.
“I say every day the door is open is a good day for our members,” says Jim Reid of UNIFOR Local 27.
The plant is surviving due to a deal that requires its sole customer, GM, to source its light duty truck wheels from a Canadian plant through 2018.
The company says that agreement remains in place, but is not enough to keep everyone working. It says the 30 people out of work are on temporary layoff.
But the cut has made those nearing retirement nervous.
“A lot of folks are just at the end of the rope. There’s a lot of frustration,” Reid says.
In a statement to CTV News, a U.S. Accuride official tried to ease the frustration.
“The recent reduction is not indicative of any long-term change, just near-term customer conditions,” it read.
But the union says more equipment is being removed and shipped to plants in the south.
The company didn’t comment on equipment moving.
The current contract at Accuride expires in just more than a year, although many remained convinced the plant will not survive past the life of that agreement.
Reid says UNIFOR will push for investment.
“We've got the people here. We’ve obviously got the space, the capacity. We see that there may be some opportunity there.”