UPDATED: Political reaction to Michelin plant reductions

John Brannen
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HALIFAX - Reaction is beginning to pour in from politicians across the province with news that Michelin's plant in Granton will shed 500 employees by 2015.

Michelin plant

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Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education

I can confirm that the department received official notice of the layoff this morning. There’s no question this news is tough for the people affected and their families. We know this is a very emotional, stressful time for many people. We want the Michelin workers to know that the province will be there for workers to make sure they have the support they need during this difficult time. We have a transition team in place that is ready to help workers, and we will work closely with Michelin to determine exactly what services are needed.

 

Those supports can include things like career counseling and planning, help with re-attaching to the workforce through resume updating and career searching. Other supports include help with navigating the EI process, especially in the short term. Michelin employees should know that the province will continue to offer all resources possible to ensure they are supported during this difficult time.

 

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Hon. Peter MacKay, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada

"I am disappointed that, due to diminished market demand for small tire dimensions, Michelin has had to take the difficult decision to reduce positions in the Granton plant over the next two years.

Jobs in Pictou county are important and I am deeply concerned at these news.

I understand that the company will put in place a number of opportunities for affected employees, including the option of relocating to Michelin plants in Bridgewater and Waterville, along with fair and reasonable severance packages and encouraging employees close to retirement to use those packages to transition to retirement. Michelin has assured me that ‎the Granton plant will continue to operate with over 600 employees.

I look forward to details of the new Michelin Development program, which will provide low-interest business loans to create new jobs in Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough and Colchester counties.

As always, my office remains available to provide any assistance to existing federal government programs."

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Statement from Opposition leader Jamie Baillie:

"I am saddened by the devastating news about the loss of 500 important jobs at the Michelin plant in Granton.

My heart goes out to the hundreds of families that will be affected by these job reductions. It will also be hard for all Nova Scotians to watch, as more good paying jobs are lost.

As the Ivany Report points out, our province is at a critical crossroads. We must get the fundamentals right. We simply cannot stand by while jobs and families leave our province for opportunities elsewhere.

Today's announcement is another reminder that we cannot accept the status quo in Nova Scotia. We must act now to create and preserve jobs."

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Pictou County MLAs react to Michelin closure

PICTOU – Pictou’s Progressive Conservative MLAs Karla MacFarlane, Tim Houston and Pat Dunn are devastated to learn Michelin Canada is slowing production of its manufacturing facility in Granton, effectively eliminating 500 jobs from the community.

Karla MacFarlane of Pictou West says she’s sickened by the news and wants to be part of the solution to turn Pictou’s economy around.

“I know how hard these employees work and it’s crushing to see them put in this situation,” said MacFarlane. “We need a plan to keep jobs at home and cannot continue to watch as good people struggle to make ends meet.  These blows to our communities are unacceptable.”

Tim Houston of Pictou East says he’s frustrated by the news and is determined to reverse this trend.

"I am thinking first and foremost about my friends and constituents who are impacted by this sad news. It’s a scary day for them and for all of Pictou County,” said Houston. "As we digest and work through this news, it's clear that we need to find ways to help rural Nova Scotia thrive and reverse this flow of heartbreaking news.”

Pat Dunn of Pictou Centre says he's tired of seeing his community struggle and wants a plan to protect jobs.

“These workers and their families deserve better. My heart goes out to each and every one of them,” said Dunn. "We need to get the conditions right in this province, so companies like Michelin will continue to invest and employ our men and women.”

Organizations: Michelin

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Mack
    March 03, 2014 - 22:35

    Peter McKay is a good MP but that drivel was clearly not written by him. Sounds like the person who wrote it has never even been to PC. Just a rehash of Michelin's press release.

  • Mickey
    March 03, 2014 - 20:25

    This is a sad day. Nothing good will come of this however, with pictou county having Just elected the conservatives for our area, I am regretting that decision at this point and wishing we had all went liberal. PIctou county needs a change, both in our provincial and federal seats.

    • JLM
      March 04, 2014 - 09:48

      I don't understand what the conservatives just elected in the area have to do with a business decision. Do you really think Michelin's decision would have been different with Liberal representation provincially/federally?

  • Big Business
    March 03, 2014 - 18:22

    Are these not the same politicians that are allowing Foreign workers to come in to the country? You will not be able to get a job at the Weed Factory when it gets going because they will be immigrants as well. Only blessing with these job losses is we will be able to shrink the need for politicians because there will be no one here. If you can't sell your house, burn it.

  • alex
    March 03, 2014 - 18:10

    so sorry for this news- as a former Granton worker, I wish all those affected the best, and hope that they can and will move to take advantage of work in the other plants- does anyone know if the other tire plants owned by Michelin such as Goodrich and Uniroyal are laying off to or is it just Michelin in NS? Perhaps politicians and business people can investigate this- perhaps Granton can manufacture some tires under another brand name?

  • what can politicians really say
    March 03, 2014 - 14:55

    Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. There'll be a ton of for sale signs going up on houses across the county this spring. Fort Mac and Yellowknife here we come.

    • craig
      March 03, 2014 - 18:20

      Out West they are only looking for qualified people.MacDonald's is hiring locally however. Can't wait to buy a cheap house and car from the repo man.

  • craig
    March 03, 2014 - 13:57

    Maybe Mr.MacKay will help.Like he helped Maritime Steel. LOL

  • P
    March 03, 2014 - 12:14

    Preserve jobs? We need to create jobs and improve quality of living so people will stay here. Are our governments thinking ahead being proactive or reactive? Reactive again and again, surely we all seen this coming, Michelin has stayed for longer than a lot of us thought. Pictou County, open your eyes, get creative ,explore all oportunities, we are getting hit hard , and it isn't long before more company's will leave, more small business and retail gone. What will be left?