Dorel, the new owner of Pacific Cycle, bought Carina Furniture Industries in September 2003. At the time of the purchase, Carina was said by Dorel execs to be an "industry leader" with "state of the art technology" and able to ramp up for "mass production with maximum flexibility." In January 2004, the plant was closed, and the United Steelworkers of America says the closure is linked to a November ballot when 80 percent of the Carina workforce voted to join the union. The USWA believes this is unacceptable corporate behaviour and an indication that Dorel claims to protect jobs in the companies it buys, but then sheds them a few months later...

Dorel is anti-union, claim Carina workers

The USWA contacted 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 "What’s 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, that’s 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.…/carina.htm

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