Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 93 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Page 93 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (145 reads)

'Cause we knew most of the stuff was gone. There had been a master layoff. I'd say when that plant closed, we were lucky if we had 400. We had dropped from 9(00). Gradu? ally. Not, big load. (Was there no attempt at all?) No. Of course, we pleaded and everything with them, but.... (Wasn't there something done to try to get Halifax to pay...?) Oh, we went to Indus? trial Estates Limited. We were asking more for a large (grant)--"Give them a grant. Give them a big grant, like you gave them a grant to start out. Why not give them an? other grant and keep them here?" So, we came back, and we told them what it was. But Isobel (Cooper) said that they were thinking on paying the full wages. And they bought that. And they really--now this was, oh, maybe a year before. They kind of, "Oh, if (I.E.L. is) going to pay everything, why won't we stay here." q. So, (G.I.) wrote to (I.E.L.). I guess he was in contact with them, anyhow. Called myself and Nelson in the office and he said, "There's no way Halifax are going to pay everything." He said, "I think you mis? interpreted what they said." And I said, "No. We asked for a large grant, and Isobel just told them that, rather than pay unem? ployment for all those people, they would be better off to pay their salaries." And I said, "But that's not what we really want? ed." He said, "But that's what Isobel told me." I said, "Well, that's not really--we asked first for a large grant. And," I said, "she more or less said this offhand." So we had little differences amongst our? selves over what went on in Halifax. But what it was, was a grant. To give a grant to them to keep the plant here, even if it was on a smaller basis. But what went on between I.E.L. and manage? ment.... When we went there, we were sure I.E.L. was going to give help. We were sure of it. But whatever fellows came from the States, whatever conversation they had with (Halifax), it came back--nothing. We don't know what they offered them. Isobel Cooper , (Do you think petty grievances or the large turnover played a role in driving the com? pany away?) No. No, I don't think. I think General Instruments was going to go--come hell or high water. I don't think that the employees--never--no way did that ever have anything to do with General Instruments go? ing. No, nothing that the employees did drove General Instruments out of here. They came in here to work so many years, with all these tax-free grants. And when that finished, they were gone. (And nothing you would have done could have changed their minds one way or the other.) No, sir, no, no. The last general manager told us right out --I'm sure Marie and them will remember that morning--although everybody was so up? set. And he said, "I can't believe that they're doing this. Because this plant is definitely making money." So anybody that thinks that it was the employees, are dead wrong. Nothing to do with it. (Is there any way Cape Bretoners, any way we can protect ourselves against this kind of thing in the future?) Well, I don't Incredible food! Jncredible view! Come and enjoy a SCOTTISH DINNER, and receive a ticket to a Gaelic College Scottish Concert. (Good only on concert nigfits. Mod Week not included.) EXIT11 on ROUTE 105 at ST. ANN'S on the CABOT TRAIL St. Ann's Harbour, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia Phone (902) 295-3100 think that we can protect ourselves, but I think the government could protect us a bit more. When these companies are brought in here, they should be screened a lot more than General Instruments was. They must have known--we found out early on, when we went to a convention--how General Instru? ments worked. So if we--just novices--could find out what was happening, how come these big government (agencies)--Industrial * QUALITY SAME-DAY DRY CLEANING * 6 DAYS A WEEK * Vogue Cleaners Wedding Gown Cleaning & Heirlooming a Specialty
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