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Nov 24, 2008

3M hit by more job cuts

3M Canada is starting to buckle under the weak global economy, announcing about 100 job cuts yesterday.

The layoffs for the traditionally stable manufacturer have been in the works since June, said plant chairperson Randy Mason, who represents 3M's unionized workers.

"It's not a very good day. These are good, solid jobs in the community that are going to be leaving," he said. "It should concern everyone."

About 60 hourly and salaried manufacturing positions in the company's Oxford Street plant and 40 others in its head office will be cut. About 40 sales and manufacturing positions outside London also are being eliminated.

The latest job cuts are in addition to 20 announced last month that take effect in February, said Mason, unit chairperson at the plant, represented by Local 27 of the Canadian Auto Workers Union.

In July, workers at the London plant -- which makes products such as adhesives, sandpaper and duct tape -- opened their contract mid-term and agreed to a wage freeze to help the company cut costs.

However, the poor U.S. economy and its effects on other industries, such as automakers, has taken a toll, Mason said.

"People aren't buying," he said, referring to both industry and consumers. "You can draw the lines right across to the whole auto thing.When people stop buying, everything snowballs."

The declining economy is the largest concern for 3M workers, Mason added. Many of the cuts won't take affect until September 2009, he said.

The 40 unionized jobs being cut at the London plant are from a division that makes double-sided tape, he said.

Yesterday's announcement has left many employees worried about their futures, Mason added.

"We're dealing with some employees that are obviously very concerned -- people who are angry (and) very devastated," he said. "This is serious stuff.

"There's people's lives here."

Source : LondonFreePress
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