The USWA contacted BikeBiz.com after previous articles about Dorel’s takeover of Pacific Cycle, a deal that Dorel said involves no job losses.
The union wants to inform furniture buying consumers that Dorel’s purchase of Carina comes at a heavy cost: 360 job losses.
In a leaflet, the union asks "Whats the real cost of some ready-to-assemble furniture?"
The leaflet said:
On September 23, Dorel Industries bought Carina Furniture Industries. On November 8, 2003, the employees of the Carina plant in Brampton, Ontario voted to join the United Steelworkers by a margin of 80%. The plant employs over 360 workers. Over the holidays, these workers and their families celebrated and began to prepare for collective bargaining to make Carina a better place to work. Then, on January 21, Dorel announced that it plans to close this factory and terminate the jobs of these people. Dorel blames efficiency targets and the rising Canadian dollar. But when it bought this plant only four months ago, Dorel told investors that Carina was a profitable industry leader with state of the art technology and capabilities for mass production with maximum flexibility. What changed in four months? The Carina employees voted in a secret ballot election to join a union, thats what.
The United Steelworkers says that the corporate decision to close the Carina Brampton plant is really an attempt to avoid dealing with our union and the needs of our members at Carina. Our Union is committed to these employees and their families. We will take every possible action at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, in other legal venues, among domestic and international consumers and at the corporate level in order to defend the interests of our members at Carina. As a consumer, you can influence corporate behaviour.
Execs from Pacific Cycle remain unfazed by the Carina controversy, believing the Pacific Cycle business model – importing rather than domestic US manufacturing – is closely allied to the Dorel business model and that there is no risk of job losses at Pacific Cycle.