Farewell Terra Nova Shoes

The Compass - - OPINION - — Melissa Jenk­ins is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per in Car­bon­ear. She can be reached at melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

For many of those who work at Terra Nova Shoes in Har­bour Grace, it is the end of an era with the com­pany that started their long ca­reers.

In fact, it should be that for the en­tire re­gion — the end of an era.

The fac­tory that has been a sta­ple in the town for more than four decades is set to close in Novem­ber (see re­lated story on Page A1). It has been owned by Ko­diak Group Hold­ings Co. since 2005.

But why the end of an era?

Ac­cordi n g to the provin­cial govern­ment, ab­so­lutely noth­ing could be done to pre­vent the clo­sure. Of­fers from the govern­ment to ne­go­ti­ate were turned down, and ex­pla­na­tions were min­i­mal.

In a nut­shell, the ex­pla­na­tion is that Ko­diak “can’t af­ford it.”

One of the big­gest brands in work footwear, with some priced at up to $300, can’t af­ford to keep a fa­cil­ity open? That’s their story, and they’re stick­ing to it. The Com­pass was de­nied in­for­ma­tion last week from Ko­diak on whether or not the plant was prof­itable. Not even a yes or no.

Ko­diak is a pri­vate com­pany, so it’s some­thing we may never know, al­though the an­swers are now ir­rel­e­vant.

And now, 86 em­ploy­ees — who will be nicely com­pen­sated by the way — will not have po­si­tions when the doors close.

The fact is Terra Nova Shoes will be gone from Har­bour Grace in four-and-a-half short months, and many of those dis­placed em­ploy­ees, who have been em­ployed there their whole work­ing lives, will have to start over. This in­cludes those close to re­tire­ment.

This is not the con­cern of Ko­diak. They’ll move op­er­a­tions to Cam­bridge and save a few bucks. But they have also of­fered to pay work­ers to re­lo­cate … on a case-by-case ba­sis, and only if po­si­tions are avail­able there.

Like many other New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans be­fore them, em­ploy­ees of the plant who do not re­lo­cate will bounce back. Har­bour Grace is in the midst of a com­back with a new sta­dium, ex­pand­ing businesses and a strong lo­cal bond with some of the ma­rine com­pa­nies in town. It’s a blow, but even­tu­ally it will be a mem­ory.

Even­tu­ally, an­other busi­ness will re­place Terra Nova Shoes, but by that time, the res­i­dents of the Town of Har­bour Grace and those from sur­round­ing ar­eas will have moved on.

And at that time, that new busi­ness will be ic­ing on the cake.

One of the big­gest brands in work footwear, with some priced at up to $300, can’t af­ford to keep a fa­cil­ity open?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.