Windsor

JD Norman files for bankruptcy after laying off dozens of workers

Two weeks after JD Norman Industries abruptly closed its doors, workers are now finding out that the company went bankrupt. 

The auto parts company closed its doors in east Windsor two weeks ago

Workers at JD Norman Industries in Windsor set up a blockade outside the company after being laid off. (Unifor Local 444/Twitter)

Two weeks after JD Norman Industries abruptly closed its doors, workers are now finding out that the company went bankrupt.

Roughly 65 workers were terminated from the company without advance notice on Feb. 5. The union representing the workers said it discovered that the company filed for bankruptcy. Workers have not heard from the company since, other than having been summoned to court for erecting a blockade the morning they were laid off.

"They kept it so secret. They didn't inform the union or the workers they've been bankrupt. We just get notified later in the week after four, five days. We get a notice that we have to appear in court because they consider the blockade as being illegal," said Unifor Local 195 president Emile Nabbout.

The blockade was taken down on Feb. 17 after a settlement was reached with the company. 

"We were able to negotiate some type of settlement with JD Norman from paying the last week of earning and the vacation pay and benefit will continue to the end of the month," he said. 

Nabbout told CBC News Friday that the company owes $146 million to its creditors — some of which is also owed to its workers. 

"Based on our bankruptcy protection, the biggest creditor, the banker, will get the first crack on everything and the worker will be the last one to get anything and that's why it's very important for the union to have that blockade and negotiate the appropriate settlement for the worker," he said. 

But some issues, like severance pay, termination pay and pension contributions, still need to be worked out in bankruptcy proceedings. 

CBC News has reached out to JD Norman for comment but has not heard back. 

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