Thursday, November 26, 2009

Woods Closes, Protest Remembered and Bike Lanes Info

Manufacturing Hit again as Woods Closes Down
After 75 years in operation, the W.C. Woods plant on Arthur Road in Guelph closed its doors and put 250 workers out of a job last week after a deal to sell the company fell through. To add insult to injury, those same workers received no official notice from the company and many showing up for work at the plant Monday morning business as usual. A former Woods’ employee told me that he learned about the plant’s closing by trading rumours on Facebook, and showed up early Monday to collect his things before the doors were locked. Other employees not so informed had to make an appointment to come in to the closed plant and collect their belongings.

Ultimately though, the closure of Woods came as no surprise to many of its former employees. The plant’s been on the proverbial bubble for much of the last year with employees having been part of a government work share program in order to compensate for lost hours at the plant. For frustrated workers, the loss of their job was exacerbated by a wall of silence from the company as to the status of their pensions, holiday pay and severance cheques. Before the employees can even get EI, their paper work on the work share program had to be finished, but it appears this at least will give workers some relief. As for the rest, Woods has been mum as to what the people that used to make their factory run can expect.

In an attempt to get some answers, about 75 employees and supporters gathered at the plant Thursday morning. The only one dolling out answers however was a representative of BDO Dunwoody, the firm that’s overseeing the liquidation of Woods’ assets. The business’ creditors will be the first to receive money from the sell-off, but how much that is and how much will be made from the sell-off is not yet known. In the meantime, the workers are getting more information from each other and third part sources then they are from the guys that used to sign their paycheques. For late breaking information head over to my blog at

Week of Events Remember HCBP opposition

Local activists have planned a whole week of activities to keep up awareness over the Hanlon Creek Business Park project. Hanlon Creek Celebration Week began this past Monday with HCBP protestor Kelly Pflug-Back serving the Guelph police department with a plaintiff's claim on behalf of herself and Julian Ichim. Pflug-Back and Ichim are claiming that police defamed them while investigating a supposed threatening letter that was dropped off at the home of one of the developers. Events continue today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) with a protest at Xterra Construction’s Kitchener office, and a lunch hour hootenanny at Guelph City Hall. For more information and a full schedule go to

City wants your notes about bike lanes

The City of Guelph is hosting a public information session to present plans for the construction of bike lanes on Stone Road from Scottsdale Drive to Victoria Road South, and on Gordon Street from Stone Road to Harts Lane. The session takes place between 5 pm and 7 pm Thursday November 26th at the Delta Hotel on the corner of Gordon and Stone. After a presentation at 5:30, attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to city officials and planners. Construction is set to begin early next summer and will last at least seven months. This is another fine “shovel ready” project brought to you by Federal and Provincial Infrastructure Stimulus Funds.

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