Supplier Fallout Continues: Polywheels Is Toast
Ontario's struggling manufacturing sector took another blow yesterday. CNews reports that Oakville, Ont-based automotive supplier Polywheels has shut down indefinitely. Workers arrived for their 7am shift on July 2 only to find the plant closed and shut down notices posted at the entrances. The workers, represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), were surprised that the company shut its doors without warning. "I'm upset because this is a good factory, they had good, good benefits," emotes a local worker in a moment of unionist entitlement. The Toronto Sun reports that American Axle's own strike, which halted production of Polywheels' bread and butter models (e.g. Sierra/Silverado) was a body blow for Polywheels. The subsequent rise in gas prices was the coup de grace, according to another worker: "We figure out how to bring the price of oil down and we'll all be fine." Easier said than done, I suppose.
"I'm upset because this is a good factory, they had good, good benefits," Is it remotely possible that this (cost of benefits) had something to do with this company not being able to keep the books in the black? Maybe just possibly? How much above prevailing market wages were employees being paid at Polywheels? I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'.
It sounds to me she liked her job and the company she worked for. What is the problem with her comment? I don't know about the rest of you, but I like having a good job with good benefits. There will be many others that supplied her company that will feel the heat as well. But I have to say that was a crappy way to tell your people, if that is what really happened.
This looks like a classic management mistake for a part supplier having almost all of it's eggs in one basket. Having GM trucks as your do-or-die source of income is a very risky game plan. The workers are not at fault here, but management is for not building a reasonably well balanced order book. I know a lot about this as my former employer got over 80% of it's business from one customer ... and when that customer moved on the business collapsed.