ÉCONOMIE / BUSINESS
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Despite a production cutback that has resulted in 25 employees being temporarily
let go, Montebello Packaging in Hawkesbury remains optimistic about the future.
The situation resembles the one in the fall of 2009. The Aberdeen Street industry had
weathered the storm and all employees who were laid off then were rehired in May,
Plant manager François Carrier believes the same will happen this time, saying that
this difficult period is temporary.
Faced with a drop in orders, the plant has reduced its production schedule from
five to four days a week, and the number of its lines from eight to four. Workers with
reduced hours will qualify for benefits under a work-sharing agreement.
“We are not dropping our people. We are trying to help them during this period,
which we and our customers believe we will not last long,” stressed Carrier.
Montebello Packaging specializes in the manufacture of aluminum tubes and
containers. Its prime customers are in the pharmaceutical and personal care sectors
in Canada, United States, Europe, India and Mexico. The Hawkesbury business
boasts state-of-the-art technology. However, like many other manufacturers, the firm
is not immune to economic downturns.
“In 2009, it was the economic crisis but we recovered. Unfortunately, I think that
our elected officials have dropped the manufacturing sector in America. This is a pity
because there are good jobs and we work hard every day to be more efficient and to
improve,” says Carrier.
While pharmaceutical businesses in Montréal and the United States have closed,
consumption of medications is increasing. However, Montebello Packaging must
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deal with uncertainty while more and more orders are filled by operations in China
and other countries, says Carrier.
“We are not the only ones to be affected. There are a lot of factories that closed
because of free trade,” he comments, adding that a coalition of unionized workers in
North America could help reverse the trend. “We have to force our governments to
change their position. Canadian workers are also manufacturing workers; they are
not all government employees.”
COMMUNAUTÉ / COMMUNITY
Accrédité du certificat de conformité de résidences pour personnes âgées, émis par l’Agence de santé et services sociaux du Québec.
Photo Richard Mahoney
cancer research. Everyone has been touched by the disease, note organizers
are shown with Jessica Brunet who lost her grandmother to lung cancer in
October. About $300 was raised.
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