Waterville TG slashes production
Plant workers at Waterville TG’s factories in Waterville and Coaticook have had their hours drastically reduced in the last couple of weeks. Last week, many workers were told not to come in Monday, Thursday and Friday and this week, many of the workers will work only one day.
At a union meeting held on May 7th, in Sherbrooke, workers accepted a ‘shared time’ agreement with the company. “We are basically now on ‘Shared time’, working three out of five days at both plants,” said Waterville TG’s Executive Vice-president, Allan Abdalla.
The reason for the drop in production is attributed to two of the company’s main clients, Toyota and Honda, who have also dropped their production because of being ‘short-supplied’. “We should be hearing from Toyota, at the end of this week, when they will be resuming production and at what volume,” added Mr. Abdalla. Several plants in Japan that make pieces are now running at only 50% production as a result of the earthquake in March.
Waterville TG has applied to the federal government to have their suddenly part-time workers accepted into the Employment Insurance program to receive benefits in case the situation continues. “We applied to this program, as we did in 2009, and we’re waiting to hear back from them. We’re expecting a positive response,” said the Vice-President. The roughly six hundred employees who have been affected will be personally absorbing the pay decrease until then.