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DMI layoffs a hot topic

At the time of the moratorium motion, Craitor said that representatives of the company had asked him to speak out. He said the company had invested $30 million "in anticipation of growth opportunities," Craitor's assessment was backed Monday by Belinda Forknell, a spokesperson for DMI's head office in West Fargo, N.D.

Craitor blames Tory opposition to green energy deal

Tory opposition to a wind turbine deal with South Korean electronics giant Samsung is being blamed for layoffs at DMI Industries in Stevensville.

Niagara Falls Liberal candidate Kim Craitor, who is running for his third term at Queen's Park says that's "not politics" but news that came straight to him from company management.

The layoffs, which were effective Monday, will mean 50 workers stand to lose their jobs at the company's Winger Road facility.

"That's sad," Craitor said, adding that he had received a call from company management at the Stevensville plant asking for help.

"They had made an application for a work-sharing program with the federal government," Craitor said of DMI's attempt to avoid layoffs. The company, Craitor said, was told by federal bureaucrats that the company didn't qualify.

Craitor, who is seeking his third term at Queen's Park, said a Conservative motion in April 2010 and the upcoming provincial election and a promise made by Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak have scared off potential buyers from DMI products. DMI manufactures the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Craitor blames Tory opposition to green energy deal

Tory opposition to a wind turbine deal with South Korean electronics giant Samsung is being blamed for layoffs at DMI Industries in Stevensville.

Niagara Falls Liberal candidate Kim Craitor, who is running for his third term at Queen's Park says that's "not politics" but news that came straight to him from company management.

The layoffs, which were effective Monday, will mean 50 workers stand to lose their jobs at the company's Winger Road facility.

"That's sad," Craitor said, adding that he had received a call from company management at the Stevensville plant asking for help.

"They had made an application for a work-sharing program with the federal government," Craitor said of DMI's attempt to avoid layoffs. The company, Craitor said, was told by federal bureaucrats that the company didn't qualify.

Craitor, who is seeking his third term at Queen's Park, said a Conservative motion in April 2010 and the upcoming provincial election and a promise made by Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Hudak have scared off potential buyers from DMI products. DMI manufactures the massive steel towers used for the energy-generating wind mills for markets in Ontario and the northeastern United States.

"Potential new work orders were pulled back," Craitor said. "Customers were concerned over the fate of wind power because of the election."

At the time of the moratorium motion, Craitor said that representatives of the company had asked him to speak out. He said the company had invested $30 million "in anticipation of growth opportunities," Craitor's assessment was backed Monday by Belinda Forknell, a spokesperson for DMI's head office in West Fargo, N.D.

"There's some uncertainty for the continued supply for wind energy towers," Forknell said. "It (the debate over wind turbines) has caused a softening of demand."

She added that an improved demand for the company's products would dictate the duration of the layoffs.

Craitor, meanwhile, said he was shocked by the sudden change in fortunes for DMI.

For Mayor Doug Martin, the layoffs are not welcome news.

"We knew it was pending," Martin said. "We've been trying to do something to help. You have to be concerned when we lose so many workers."

Craitor, meanwhile, said he felt that opposition to wind turbine projects in West Lincoln and Wainfleet were not factors.

"There are people who do not want wind power who are in competition (with it)," Craitor said. "We see them running around at demonstrations."

He added that economic woes in the United States were also not a factor. He said the company had been depending on the Canadian operation as a bright spot in DMI's operation.

"They believed things were fine on our side," Craitor said. "They had orders until November."

Forknell, meanwhile said that although DMI did not have a stake in the Samsung deal, any ripple effect killing the deal would cause would most likely have an impact on the company.

George Lepp, the Progressive Conservative party's candidate running against Craitor in Niagara Falls, said his Liberal opponent "should be ashamed of himself" for tying the layoffs at DMI to the Conservatives.

"The layoffs are just another example of badly managed and bad decisions on economic policy by the McGuinty government," Lepp said. "Investors are smart and they see the direction Ontario has taken."

At its peak, DMI employed 180 people at its Stevensville plant. Monday's layoffs will leave fewer than 100 workers employed at the facility.


Source: http://www.niagarathisweek....

SEP 20 2011
https://www.windaction.org/posts/31973-dmi-layoffs-a-hot-topic
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