WILDCAT STRIKE: Morbern employees walk off the job, citing safety worries

WILDCAT STRIKE: Morbern employees walk off the job, citing safety worries
Tim Mullin

CORNWALL, Ontario – Dozens of Morbern employees abruptly walked off the job Thursday, demanding changes within the vinyl plant when it comes to worker safety.

As many as 200 members of United Steel Workers Union local 9343 parked their cars along Boundary Road and are refusing to enter the plant until their demands are met.

The union members are miffed because one of their own has been suspended by the company for improperly ensuring a dock plate was removed from a tractor-trailer at the loading dock, said USW president Tom Mullin.

Mullin said the union wants the company to make changes so that the dock plate inspection is safer, instead of relying on the practice to date.

The problem becomes a health and safety concern because someone could be standing on the plate if the transport is given the go-ahead to pull away from the loading dock. The plate is used to bridge the gap between the rear of the trailer and the dock itself.

“This has been dragging on for a while,” Mullin said outside Morbern, minutes before entering the plant to speak with management. “We’ve been after the company to fix this for months.”

Morbern manager Jacques St. Denis could not be reached for comment, and an individual who answered the phone at the plant offered “No comment” before terminating the conversation.

Mullin said employees will not return to work until management addresses their concerns.

Motorists travelling on Boundary Road should take extra care in the area, as dozens of vehicles and union members are congregating along the side of the street.

More to come.

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