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51 employees receive layoff notices from CS Wind Canada

CS Wind Canada is laying off 51 employees at its manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ont., with the company saying there isn’t enough work to maintain current operations.
Joel Thibodeau, an official with Ontario District Council of Ironworkers Local 721 says he doesn't believe the layoffs are a result of the union's first collective agreement with CS Wind Canada

CS Wind Canada is laying off 51 employees at its manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ont., with the company saying there isn't enough work to maintain current operations.

The employees received their layoff notices Friday, CS Wind Canada's corporate affairs director Jeff Heath said.

CS Wind Canada came to Windsor more than four years ago to provide wind towers for the Ontario renewable energy program.

"We have a shortage of work," he said. "A number of our customers have postponed some of their projects until the third quarter of this year."

The top 280 senior employees were able to keep their jobs. The layoffs affected welders and painters, Heath said. 

Heath said he expects work to pick up over the next several months and he hopes to see all the employees back by July.

The company's employees recently ratified their first collective bargaining agreement, but a union official said he doesn't think that had anything to do with the layoffs.

"It's unfortunate whenever there are layoffs, but it is the normal, cyclical nature of manufacturing," Joel Thibodeau said. "It is dependent on the construction industry, which is at a lull right now in the winter months.

Thibodeau is the organizer with the Ontario District Council of Ironworkers Local 721.

"I don't think this has anything to do with ratifying the agreement. We've known for quite some time they were likely to happen," he said.

Employees affected by the layoffs were given two weeks severance pay and have the right to be called back to work for two years before CS Wind can hire new workers.

"It's something that's happened in the past and will likely happen in the future," Thibodeau said. "The company has assured us business is going to pick up in the near future and we're confident that is true."

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