Sterling Truck Corp. Closes After 11 Years

Former Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas

Former Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas

Sterling Truck Corp. officially ended its 11-year life span last month when the last Class 8 rolled off the St. Thomas, Ontario, assembly line, part of a final order for ABF Freight System Inc.

Parent firm Daimler AG declined requests last week from Transport Topics to discuss Sterling. But Dave Elliot, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, Local 1001, which represented workers at the plant, said the final new truck, of 257,300 produced, was completed on March 4.

All remaining employees at Chatham truckmaker given layoff notices

CHATHAM, Ont. — Layoff notices have gone out to all remaining employees at the Navistar truck plant in Chatham, Ont.

The notices would take effect June 27, just three days before the company’s current contract with the workers expires.

Navistar is required by law to issue the notices however, CAW national representative Joe McCabe says the truckmaker has gone an unexpected step further.

Layoff notices were also circulated to management staff and those not covered under the collective agreement.
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$100,000 Club defies economic downturn

Ian McCallum

Ian McCallum

In the same week the last truck rolled off the line at the Sterling plant, the 2008 Sunshine Club membership list crossed our desk.
So, while 700 or so hard-working employees at the South Edgeware Road plant bid farewell to the final medium-duty truck — and their jobs — the $100,000 club at city hall swells by nearly 25 per cent in the past year.
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Federal budget is nothing but ‘magic beans’

Ian McCallum

Ian McCallum

Jack (The Mouth) Layton roared into St. Thomas on Wednesday for a town hall meeting that, for the most part, focused on the task at hand — addressing the needs of Canadian families ravaged by a vicious downward spiral of plant closings and layoffs.
“This is driving people into homelessness and despair,” warned
Layton. “How are we going to bring the economy back if that’s how
we’re treating people?”
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Action centre gives Sterling workers hope for the future

Posted by Ian
“You made the mistake, why should we suffer. Why should the
people of St. Thomas suffer, the taxpayers as well as the employees?”
Fighting words from Maurice Beaudry aimed across the bow of top brass at Daimler AG, the parent company of the soon-to-close Sterling Truck plant.And Maurice knows of what he speaks, 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. Read his full comments at Maurice Beaudry speaks out .

And below, an update on how workers are coping with the plant scheduled to be shuttered this spring.

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St. Thomas truck plant will close in March

The way Rob Belore sees it, there is some hope.

As Sterling Truck in St. Thomas prepares for its March shutdown, its action centre is helping laid-off workers find a job or go back to school.

During recent weeks, the centre has hosted dozens of businesses and organizations that have made pitches to its workforce.
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Time to work together on future

Time to work together on future

“During the economic downturn we are experiencing, it is important that our citizens realize what council can do to alleviate the situation, particularly for the people at Sterling and Local 1001.”

Thus began Mayor Cliff Barwick’s impromptu economic state of the union address Monday, following a deputation by CAW Local 1001 seeking council’s support to secure the future of the Sterling Truck plant.

While grim-faced union members packed the gallery, Barwick offered little more than platitudes and an assurance, “My office will continually be available to you.” Continue reading