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Truro carpet plant moving operations to U.S., 240 jobs to be lost

The carpet plant in Truro, which has been opened in 1964, is moving its operations to the United States, eliminating approximately 240 jobs.
The carpet plant in Truro, which opened in 1964, is moving its operations to the United States, eliminating approximately 240 jobs. - Fram Dinshaw
TRURO, N.S. —

One of Truro’s oldest operating manufacturers is relocating to the United States, eliminating approximately 240 local jobs.

“It was a little bit of a kick in the gut,” Truro Mayor Bill Mills said, of his reaction to receiving the “shocking” news in a phone call Tuesday afternoon that the Tandus Centiva (formerly Crossley Carpets) plant is shutting down. “That’s not quite the kind of news we were looking for today.

The carpet factory has been in operation in Truro since 1964 and now is owned by Tarkett North America.

“Earlier today, we informed our employees that Tarkett North America will be closing our manufacturing plant in Truro, Nova Scotia, effective July 16, 2019,” the company said Tuesday afternoon in an email to Mills, Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair and other stakeholders.

“As one of our valued stakeholders, we wanted to share that this was not an easy decision and it is not a reflection of the caliber of work done by our Truro team,” the company said in a statement issued through the National Consulting Group.

“A business decision has been made and our manufacturing operations will be relocating to Dalton, Georgia.”

The company has sister operations in Georgia and Mills said one of the reasons he has heard for the move is to improve operational efficiencies.

Colchester Mayor Christine Blair also expressed surprise and concern about the announcement.

“That’s a huge, huge blow to this area,” she said. “A lot of people have worked there for a long time.”

Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA Lenore Zann said she was completely taken aback by the news, which is obviously a huge blow to the employees who will soon be out of a job.

“This is a devastating loss for those who work at the factory, their loved ones, and the wider community," she said, in a news release. "This company is one of the largest employers in Truro and having over 240 people faced with unemployment as of this summer is difficult to imagine.

"This factory has provided good jobs for residents of Truro for decades and having them pull up shop like this is extremely disappointing," she continued. "My heart goes out to the employees and their families. The (Stephen) McNeil government needs to be here with us in Truro making sure that the employees have the transition support they need.”

The company said in its statement that while it understands the decision will impact many lives, both locally and across the province, the plan is to work through the transition period to ensure its employees receive “the care and support they require at this difficult time."

“We are proud of what we have accomplished together,” the statement said. “Truro is home to many of us and, while we are closing a significant chapter, we look forward to seeing what lies ahead for our community.”

Despite, the alarming aspect of the news, Mills said he was taking the "high road" on the issue and is trying to remain optimistic in the chance that something constructive will develop in response to the shutdown.

"As shocking as it is, I feel there will be some opportunities present themselves," he said.

On one hand, Mills said, he believes there are local manufacturers who are looking for skilled workers while the carpet facility itself could provide new opportunities once it becomes vacant.

Mills said he has requested a meeting with company officials, which he is hoping will take place by next week.

“We’ve requested a meeting with Tandus and we want to discuss things going forward like the building itself, what will happen there as far as opportunities for the town?” he said. “On the upside, that building has been well maintained. We’ve got a good facility.”

And with all the town has to offer, from the Dalhousie University Agriculture Campus, the Truro campus of the NSCC, the RECC centre, modern hospital and other amenities, Mills said he is hopeful the situation can be turned around.

"I feel for the workers and right now it may feel like the bottom has dropped out," he said. "The job losses are quite substantial (but) I'm optimistic we are going to bounce back from this."

  

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