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Reports: Union workers locked out at structural foam plant

By: Michael Lauzon

January 6, 2014

Structural foam injection molder major Horizon Plastics International Inc. has locked out unionized workers at its Cobourg, Ontario, main production plant.

Workers were locked out the afternoon of Jan. 5, according to a report in the Northumberland News. About 160 workers with Local 175 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union are affected by the lockout. The union set up picket lines at 9 pm Jan. 5, according to union spokesman Paul Hardwick, who was quoted in the newspaper report.

Hardwick said the union and company are scheduled to resume negotiations on Jan. 7. He did not disclose major issues to be resolved.

The union and Horizon Plastics began negotiating a new labor contract in October. The previous contract expired in November. Union members turned down an initial offer in early December but the two sides then continued talks.

Horizon Plastics opened a plant in Mexico last year. In a Dec. 3 report, Northumberland Today quoted Horizon Plastics President Peter Garvey as saying Ontario manufacturers face stiff competition from the United States but he expressed hope Horizon Plastics can remain viable in Cobourg. Having a plant in Mexico should allow flexibility to fulfill orders, he indicated.

Neither union representatives nor Horizon Plastics officials were immediately available for comment. The company has been injection molding structural foam since 1972.