The time Maurice told Daimler, you screwed up!


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The city lost a good one with the death Wednesday of Maurice Beaudry. The consummate community booster, Maurice loved to tell it like it is.
That was never more evident than his shoot-from-the-hip message for Daimler AG, the parent company preparing to close the Sterling Truck Plant up on South Edgeware in November, 2008.
In a conversation that month in City Scope, Maurice conveyed the following to the German multinational: you screwed up and why should St. Thomas ratepayers suffer?
And Maurice knew of what he spoke, because in his former position as manager of the Economic Development Corporation in the early 1990s, he played a leading role in convincing Freightliner to locate in St. Thomas.
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CAW study finds job gains aren’t as great as they seem


Ford Canada St. Thomas Assembly Plant


The economic recovery is leaving workers behind, while others are toiling in “survivor” jobs with low pay and little security, states a report released Monday by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The study, called the Workers Adjustment Tracking Project, followed a group of laid-off workers in three communities — Kitchener, Toronto and Brampton — for one year and concludes they’re struggling to find work.

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Closed Sterling plant could be going green


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Former Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas


A deal is in the works to turn the closed-down Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas into a green energy manufacturer, the area’s MP says.

A national Canadian manufacturer has signed a memorandum of agreement to share technology with another industry that develops green energy platforms, including solar energy, with the intention to manufacture at the St. Thomas plant, MP Joe Preston (PC — Elgin-Middlesex-London) said yesterday.

“We are not at the point where we can say it will happen,” Preston cautioned. “But memorandums of agreements have been signed. There is interest out there. It feels good. We have to start sharing any good news, anything that is positive.”

The new manufacturer has “elements of many different types of green energy,” but solar panel production is a big part of it, he said.

Ford’s closure of St. Thomas assembly plant to affect thousands of spinoff jobs


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TORONTO — The impact of the closure of a Ford assembly plant in southwestern Ontario will extend far beyond the plant itself, costing the region thousands of spinoff jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, according to union officials and local politicians.

Ford (NYSE:F) announced Friday the plant in St. Thomas, near London, will close in 2011 due to a lack of demand for the full-sized sedans it produces.

The closure of a major manufacturing facility can be disastrous to the region in which it’s located, and Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza estimated that 6,000 spinoff jobs will be lost above and beyond the 1,400 workers directly employed by the plant.
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Recession over? Come visit St. Thomas


By HANK DANISZEWSKI, SUN MEDIA
Maybe Mark Carney should take a stroll along South Edgeware Road in St. Thomas before he declares this recession over.

Last week the governor of the Bank of Canada predicted our economy would start to grow again this summer after three consecutive quarters of shrinkage.

But head out to the small cities and towns surrounding London and that prediction elicits a lot of head-shaking and rueful laughter from people who doubt that good times will quickly return to this area.
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Navistar set to slash staff, production in Canada


Posted by Ian:
We’ve been down this road in St. Thomas with Sterling Trucks, and now Chatham is about to find out there is no turning back when head office wants to shift production to Mexico. Today appears to be the beginning of the end for Navistar in that city as the once bustling plant becomes little more than a kit shop.

TORONTO, June 29 (Reuters) – Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) is set to significantly reduce its presence in Canada as it shifts much of its heavy-duty truck production to more cost-competitive locations in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

The company, which has been producing vehicles in Chatham, Ontario, since 1923, is set to cut its staff there by about 90 percent, the Canadian Auto Workers union said on Monday.

“We’re amazed that this company continues to do this,” said Sonny Galea, who represents office workers and technicians for the CAW at the International Truck and Engine Corp plant.
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Building an empire, one tree limb and cottage hook-up at a time


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CEOBrian Hollywood is leading St. Thomas Holdings Inc., through a period of expansion, albeit one small step at a time.
The most recent announcement came to light ten days ago when the purchase of Tal Trees Inc., of Belleville, Ont., was proclaimed to city council at the close of regular business.
But what exactly have St. Thomas taxpayers, the real shareholders in St. Thomas Holdings, acquired in Tal Trees when the deal is finalized on July 2?
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