Monday, January 28, 2013

Ontario MPP champions ex-employees of closed Fort Erie Vertis plant

On Friday, former employees of Vertis Communications staged a public-information rally and picket line outside the company's now defunct printing plant in Fort Erie, Ontario.  When it closed the plant suddenly last week, its U.S.-based owner refused to pay them termination and severance, which is required under Canadian law.

The Liberal Minister of Provincial Parliament for Niagara Falls, Ontario, Kim Craitor (right), attended the rally and told the Niagara Falls Review:  "[Vertis] basically, in my opinion, premeditated the murder of this Canadian plant."

Craitor added that, although Vertis had a longstanding strategic plan in place to close the Canadian plant, it gave the employees "false expectations that things were going to be okay there."

"People should know what this company has done to them," he asserted. 

Update on 11 March 2013:

The ex-workers have asked both the federal and provincial govrnments to step in and help them recover the money they feel is owed to them.
Recently, Welland Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Cindy Forster and Welland  federal Member of Parliament (MP) Malcolm Allen, both members of the New Democratic Party, visited the workers on the picket line as a show of solidarity. Ms. Forster and Mr. Allen have both raised the ex-workers’ issue in the provincial Legislature and federal House of Commons respectively.
Mr. Craitor has also visit their picket line and has been in regular contact with union officials to offer whatever assistance is available from his office.  Along with Jim Thibert, general manager of the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corporation, Mr. Craitor also attended last Thursday’s court hearing of an injunction motion filed by Quad/Graphics against the union

More background on this story is available at:

Update on 8 May 2013:

Another politician sympathetic to the plight of ex-Vertis workers is Ontario Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi, who wrote to his counterpart in Ottawa asking the federal government to intervene on the workers' behalf.

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