International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

December 16, 2010 16:01 ET

Free Trade is a Christmas Grinch!

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - For Immediate Release

Toronto, ON - "The North American Free Trade Agreement is a joke and yesterday's announcement by Electrolux that it will move manufacturing from Québec to Tennessee is proof," said a disgusted IAMAW Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie.

"Yesterday without any warning, Electrolux told its L'Assomption, Québec workforce, it would close their facility and move it to Memphis Tennessee where it can create 1,300 new jobs and save on labour costs."

In order to attract Electrolux, the city of Memphis offered $20 million for infrastructure improvements, the County government added $20 million for infrastructure improvements, the State of Tennessee offered $92 million, and the city and county made 800 acres of land available for the new 700,000 square foot plant to which opens in June 2012. The sweetener for the deal was $400-500 million in capital investment from potential future suppliers. "You tell me how this is a fair and level playing field under the Free Trade Agreement," said Ritchie.

"Our federal, provincial and municipal governments were never consulted about this by the company," said David Chartrand, IAMAW District 11 Directing Business Representative. "When I asked a company representative why not, he replied Electrolux didn't think it was worth it."

"We have been trying for years to get this company to sit down with government officials about negotiating a reduction in taxes, obtaining loans for plant improvements or meeting with the union about wages but they simply were not interested."

"When I asked the company if there was another product line we could introduce at L'Assomption to keep this facility open and save 1,200 jobs, I was told no."

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/For further information: For further information:
Dave Ritchie – IAMAW Canadian General Vice President
416-386-1789 #6323
Dave Chartrand – IAMAW District 11 Directing Business Representative
514-956-1578/514-914-1677
Bill Trbovich – IAMAW Director of Communications
416-38601789 ext #6331/416-735-9765

/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, MEDIA, TRADE

Contact Information

  • Bill Trbovich, Director of Communications, IAMAW
    Primary Phone: 416-386-1789 ext. 6331
    Secondary Phone: 416-735-9765
    E-mail: btrbovich@iamaw.org