Factory closure in Témiscaming: a “betrayal” for workers in the region, says Unifor

Factory closure in Témiscaming: a “betrayal” for workers in the region, says Unifor
Factory closure in Témiscaming: a “betrayal” for workers in the region, says Unifor

The Unifor Union believes that the decision of the forestry company Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) to temporarily close its high purity cellulose production line in Témiscaming is a “real betrayal” which “sacrifices workers” for the benefit of interests financiers of American shareholders.

Remember that on April 29, the American company announced the suspension of activities at the Témiscaming plant for an indefinite period, starting July 2, 2024. In total, 275 employees will be laid off.

RYAM then indicated that this decision would help mitigate current losses linked to operations and increase free cash flow.

The Unifor union, for its part, believes that this is “a real betrayal” towards the workers who now find themselves unemployed, as well as towards the community of Témiscaming, “which will suffer the economic and social consequences of this closure », We can read in a press release published Monday.

“It is clear that this decision is motivated by immediate financial interests, to the detriment of workers and the region,” said Stéphane Lefebvre, president of Unifor Local 233.

During a press conference on Monday, the union recalled that by acquiring the Quebec flagship Tembec in 2017, RYAM “is committed to maintaining a profitable and diversified industrial complex”.

“However, over the years, RYAM has moved profitable technologies developed in Quebec to the United States, thus weakening the region’s industrial ecosystem,” Unifor said.

“RYAM benefited from public funds from the Quebec government, while now abandoning the Témiscaming region. This situation highlights the lack of vision and commitment of governments to protect Quebec jobs and communities.”

Unifor is asking the Quebec government to meet with RYAM management in order to “demand accountability” and avoid the permanent closure of the company.

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