|CAW Local 4005 members at Scanwood Canada overwhelmingly rejects company concessions
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia based Scanwood Canada Ltd., a furniture manufacturing company that makes furniture for IKEA Canada,
has owed secured creditors approximately $14.8 million since February 4, 2011, and the company’s unsecured creditors were owed
approximately $9 million. Consequently, the insolvent company is now operating under court protection under the Companies’
Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). In March, workers at Scanwood were laid off after a delay in parts from a European supplier.
The workers (approximately 235) are members of CAW Council 4000/Local 4005.
The Union held a membership meeting in Halifax on April 3rd to discuss the problems at Scanwood, and to inform members of the
concessions that are being asked by the company, which includes a wage rollback, a freeze on shift premiums, shift changes and a
claw back on paid sick leave.
Following a vote, the membership overwhelmingly refused the company’s request for benefit and wage concessions.
CAW National Representative Carla Bryden said the turmoil at the plant has been tough on workers. "Our members, from one day
to the next, don't know if they're going to be working or not," said Bryden. The CAW is continuing to work hard in an effort to
secure the jobs, Bryden said.
Bryden went on to say that the employees feel they have nothing left to give the failing furniture maker. “These folks have been
through so much in the workplace and they’ve just had enough,” she said following the vote. “The company went too far in what
they wanted in concessions.”
She said the meeting was emotional and several employees expressed frustration at the company’s demands and that she isn’t
confident that a solution can be found. “I’m not sure anything would change their minds,” Bryden said, some of whom have been
laid off because Scanwood has only one client.
The company has a contract to produce 900,000 chests of drawers for IKEA and has until April 18, 2011 to prepare a financial
proposal for creditors so it can continue to operate.
Scanwood director Bo Thorn said last week that the company is pursuing all possible options in its efforts to return to viability. "We’
re asking for concessions that will benefit the company the most and impact the workers the least," he said.