By Michael Lauzon, Plastics News
Guelph, Ontario - A large Collins & Aikman plastics plant in Canada is slated for closure. The Collins & Aikman Canada Inc. facility in Guelph, Ontario, employs more than 500. Workers were told 15 Jan that the plant will close, but no definite closing date was available.
The Guelph facility counts Chrysler llc as a key customer. Layoffs occured last November in response to Chrysler deciding to stop production of its Pacifica crossover sport utility vehicle. At the time, 39 C&A workers were let go when Chrysler stopped making the vehicle in Windsor, Ontario, according to a report in the Guelph Mercury.
Workers at the plant are represented by Canadian Auto Workers Local 1917. The union is trying to save the plant by finding a buyer or convincing C&A to keep it open. Union officials were unavailable to comment on any progress. Company officials did not return telephone calls.
The 240 000-sq.ft (22 300-sq.m) Guelph operation injection moulds components and instrument panels. It started up in 1986 and belonged to Textron Automotive before C&A bought it in 2001. A Textron speciality was cast instrument panel skins made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).
The Guelph operation has won quality awards from automotive original equipment manufacturers and in 2003 won a best plant award from Industry Week magazine. The award focused on Guelph's efficiency improvements. In the three years ended 2003 the business cut a typical customer's costs by 34.6 percent. Tool change time fell from 90 minutes to 34 minutes.
C&A has been divesting and closing plants since it declared bankruptcy in 2005.