240 people to be out of work when Truro carpet plant moves to U.S.
Tarkett North America employees will lose their jobs by mid-July
About 240 workers at a Truro, N.S., carpet plant will soon be out of work after Tarkett North America announced it's moving its plant to Dalton, Ga.
Tarkett sent an email to Truro Mayor Bill Mills and other officials informing them of the move.
"We understand this decision will impact many lives locally and across the province," the email said. "We hope to work together during this transition period and want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to provide our employees with the care and support they require at this difficult time."
The employees will be out of work within three months.
Mills said he was not totally surprised by the company's departure. He said Tarkett representatives told him more than six years ago they were seeing a decline in home carpet sales, but aimed to find new markets in offices, airplanes and trains.
Mayor says 'there is an opportunity in this'
Mills said he plans to review the skills of the workers with Tarkett management and to court other potential manufacturers.
"Maybe we could come up with a solution and get the information out there that perhaps prospective companies might be interested in the property and see the opportunities that are available," said Mills.
"Right now, we got a little bit of sticker shock here, but I'm fairly confident that there is an opportunity in this and we're going to seek those out."
Taking it 'one day at a time'
Mills said Truro has a lot to offer.
"We'll take it one day at a time for now," he said.
In a statement, Tarkett said the decision was related to the sustainability of operations and the future of the company.
"Truro is home to many of us and, while we are closing a significant chapter, we look forward to seeing what lies ahead for the community," said the statement.
'The community's devastated'
Lenore Zann said she would do everything she can to help the workers transition into new jobs.
"My heart is going out to everybody here now, we're all in a state of shock. I'm devastated, the community's devastated," said the NDP MLA for Truro-BibleHill-Millbrook-Salmon River.
Zann said she will ask Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil if the province can help retrain the employees.