Frustration mounts at IMP following layoffs

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - The president of the union at IMP Aerospace Components is frustrated with the company's decision to layoff more than 50 just before Christmas.
"My whole beef with this whole thing is with all the government funding they are getting, why is this happening and why at this time of the year?" Ray Gilroy, president of the United Steelworkers Local 4883, said last night.
"It really puts a lot of people into a jam."
One of Amherst's largest employers, IMP Aerospace employs more than 300 people and was the scene of a July announcement in which the company said it planned to create 325 new jobs through a $3-million contract with Cessna.
The company is expecting to receive a $3,082,380 payroll rebate from the province over the next five years.
Gilroy said the layoffs were announced over two periods with one group, 17 to 18 employees, being let go on Thursday and another 35 on Friday.
There's no word on the length of the layoffs.
As frustrating as it is for Gilroy to understand the need for cuts in light of the jobs announcement, he is disappointed the company would do it right before Christmas.
"We pleaded with them as a union to hold off on this until after the holiday," he said.
Gilroy believes the layoff is related to what he perceives as workflow issues at the plant located in Amherst's industrial park.
"They can't seem to unload the work properly. There's lots of work and lots of work coming but they're having a difficult time getting out to the floor," Gilroy said. "Things get balled up and things don't move."
Calls to comapny vice-president David Pearson were not returned Monday.

Organizations: IMP Aerospace Components, United Steelworkers Local 4883, Cessna

Geographic location: AMHERST

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