Workers left high and dry

Aug 30 • Feature Story, ViewpointNo Comments on Workers left high and dry

enviroshake

What a difference a few months can make.

Just ask the folks who work hard for Enviroshake in Chatham; the ones who showed a previous owner that their can-do attitude could make them a centre of excellence for the company.

They’ll be out of work by the end of the year when Boral Industries, the company that now owns Enviroshake, packs up the operation and sends the work to Michigan.

It’s message to local employees? Thanks for all the hard work. Nothing personal.

This after the Riverview Drive plant recently bucked that huge trend where companies get bought up by bigger U.S. firms only to see production shifted south of the border.

When Headwaters Inc. bought Enviroshake in 2015, that was the plan – shut it down and send production to Michigan.

Instead, the firm opted to bring business here, expanding Enviroshake’s production lines and workforce.

The company was named Industry of the Year in late March by the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce.

But just over a month later, in swooped Boral Industries, purchasing Headwaters, and apparently everything changed.

The company won’t say when they opted to halt production of one line and shift the other to the U.S., but in previously published reports said no one locally will be offered work in the U.S. facility.

Several staff have said via social media that they found out about their pending layoff via the media, not the company. That’s poor management or indifference towards staff.

Municipal officials said, as of press time, they hadn’t even been contacted by Boral officials to be informed of what is going on.

The sad reality is Chatham-Kent, and Ontario, will lose another manufacturer to the U.S. Yes, it’s not a massive factory closure, but 50 jobs is 50 jobs, and that soon means another 50 people in the municipality will be out of work.

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