February 8, 2016 / From Newswire / The Dawn
Former Workers of Serigraphie Richford Feel Abandoned, Demand Justice
MONTREAL, QC – Some months after West-Island based, Serigraphie Richford, closed its plant in Pointe-Claire, its former employees are demanding compensation for the years of loyal work they have shown to the company. They will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 10 to air their grievance.
Serigraphie Richford had started to move its operations in 2010 to Lancaster, Ohio, known to have the Right-to-work legislation that impede unions’ ability to organize and improve work conditions. While the former employees of Serigraphie were unionized and received an average wage of thirteen dollars an hour, the minimum wage in Ohio is eight dollars and ten cents US. The company operates three facilities in Lancaster availing of state and local incentive packages.
There is no legislation in Quebec that require businesses to provide severance packages to workers they intend to lay-off. Quebec also has no protection for workers from profitable companies that decide to relocate to other countries to save on production costs.
“The Quebec government claims to prioritize the economy and jobs but shows little interest in protecting workers from companies who choose to move to the US in right to work states,” explains Mostafa Henaway of the Immigrant Workers Centre. “It seems the government is big on bailouts and subsidies for corporations but leave workers with nothing.”
Workers who have worked in the company for several years feel that they have sacrificed much in making sure the company remained profitable over the years only to have been deserted and left with a bleak job market.
“I’ve worked for this company for over twenty years,” says Marsha Drummond. “I worked my way up until I held a position that required some skills and was paid well. We were asked by the owners several years ago to help the company grow and remain competitive so we did our best. Now we’ve been thrown out into the cold and left with very little options which include jobs that are causal and pay low wages.”
The workers are launching a campaign to demand justice, compensation and better legislation from government to protect workers from the negative effects of global economic restructuring.
What: Press conference
When: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 10am
Where: Immigrant Workers Centre office, 4755 Van Horne, suite 110