CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at 1356.cupe.ca This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Urgent reform needed after Tiger Brand Knitting allowed to close, say Steelworkers

TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser is calling for immediate changes to Canada's bankruptcy laws after a decision yesterday by Ontario Superior Court Justice Colin Campbell approved the sale of Cambridge-based Tiger Brand Knitting Company Ltd. to a numbered company, which will close the plant and move clothing production to China.

The company has been under bankruptcy protection through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) since September 2004.

"There's something fundamentally wrong with the process when the rights of ordinary people can be ignored by the greedy money lenders," said Fraser. "The judge ignored another offer that would have kept the plant operating and people working because of procedural technicalities. Instead, GMAC Commercial Finance Corporation, Tiger Brand's principle secured creditor, will walk away with better than 90-cents on a dollar of what they are owed. And the former owners have secured management positions for themselves in the new company. Our members are left without a job, a source of income, termination pay and severance pay.

"A private member's bill has been introduced that would change the current imbalance and put workers' interests ahead of big banks and well-financed creditors in proceedings surrounding bankruptcy and restructuring," said Fraser. "It must become a public policy priority to minimize the economic impact of bankruptcy on the workers caught up in them. Workers should be first on the list to recover their lost wages and income from the assets of a bankrupt employer, instead of the last.

"With the loss of more than 300 jobs from the local economy, hopefully Cambridge's Conservative MP Gary Goodyear will get behind the bill and offer his constituents some support."

The union has opened Transitions Action Centre for TBK Employees in Cambridge (7 Grand Ave.) to assist employees in finding other work.

Tiger Brand employees are members of the Steelworkers' Local 862. The company has operated in Canada for over 120 years. Employees work in the knitting, cutting, sewing and dyeing facilities.

For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 577-4045

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