Home Workplace News Unifor rallies for $10 million in owed severance, termination pay at Wescast plant in Ontario

Unifor rallies for $10 million in owed severance, termination pay at Wescast plant in Ontario

by HR Law Canada

Unifor members assembled in a protest outside the Wescast Industries plant in Wingham on Thursday, calling for the company to fulfill its obligations for severance and termination pay.

The dispute stems from the layoff of approximately 200 workers in 2023, following the shutdown of foundry operations by the plant’s China-based owners, Bohong Industries Group.

The union claims that the former employees are collectively owed around $10 million. “Unifor stands firmly with the workers of Wescast in their fight for accountability from this overseas company,” stated Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Our union will not stand idly by as a multinational corporation attempts to run from its contractual and legal obligations and stiff the hard-working people of Wingham.”

The rally saw participation from hundreds of Unifor members from across southwestern Ontario, aiming to highlight the plight of the laid-off workers and pressure the company to settle its debts. Unifor Ontario Regional Director Samia Hashi emphasized the union’s resolve, saying, “It is incredibly shameful that despite years of dedicated service, Wescast workers are being taken advantage of by this company. Our union will not back down. We will not give up this fight until workers are paid every cent they are owed for their years of blood, sweat, and tears.”

The Wescast plant has been a staple in Wingham since 1902, manufacturing cast components for the auto industry, with some employees serving over four decades.

In a move to escalate their efforts, on April 17, 2024, Unifor contacted the Ontario Director of Employment Standards seeking intervention. A copy of the letter was also sent to Ontario’s Minister of Labour, David Piccini, in hopes of prompting governmental action.

Unifor, representing 315,000 workers across various sectors, continues to advocate for worker rights and aims to ensure equitable treatment and justice for its members across Canada.

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