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> Issue 50 > Page 14 - We Worked for General Instruments: Part Two: The Conclusion

Page 14 - We Worked for General Instruments: Part Two: The Conclusion

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (268 reads)

would stay, for him. Because he was so fair. He was strict in his way--he got his work done. But yet he was fair to you, too. He stopped and he listened, and he talked as a friend to you.... That was when he was a foreman. And then he became general manager inside. But I worked person? ally with him, be? cause they were go? ing to start a new line up. And I was brought down, and he was training me for this new line. I never worked with a nicer man, or a man that I wanted to stay, and I wanted to learn. I hung on? to his every word, sort of thing, be? cause he made me feel important. He didn't make you feel like, "I'm the big shot, and you're the piddley worker." Like, a lot of them did, tried to make you feel that way. He never did. He always made you feel important, whether you put a screw in, or you made up the paycheques, or you ran the whole place, you were the same person. He was well liked by everybody. And it was him that came and told us that the plant was closing. They threatened to fire him, because he was not to tell. Till we had that sit-down strike. And he phoned head office and he said he was telling. The Chronicle-Herald, Tuesday, March 19,1974: Union Charges General Instrument Layoffs Caused by VJotk Given to Mexico SYDNEY~A senior official of General Instrument Canada Ltd. warned yesterday there may be further layoffs at the firm's already drastically reduced operation here but assured there is no immediate plan to ctose the plant, potentially one of Cape Breton's biggest enjptoyers. The assurance, from William Robertson, vice- president and general manager of the intemational conrpany's automotive and electrontos divisbn, was little comfort to local union leaders who fear the plant's days are numbered. Mr. Robertson attributed the plant staff decrease, from more than 1,000 in January to well under 500 this week, to worW-wide energy shortages that are causing major reductions in the auto industry.... "Basically this is a situation we can do little about," Mr. Robertson said, "de? pending on what occurs in the uncertain automotive market in the next few months, we may have to cut our work force even further. So far as the future of the General Instrument Sydney plant is concerned, this will depend on gen? eral business conditions that affect the company. At present we intend to maintain operations." Union officials, however, are alarmed and have scheduled meetings for today with officials of Industrial Estates Limited, the provincial development agency that helped Gl to locate here six years ago. "We are worried," Mrs. Isabel Cooper, business agent for Local 1852, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said last night. "What they are saying doesn't make sense. Productton with that size work force will hardly cover their overhead." Mrs. Cooper said that company officials told her at a meeting yesterday that the plant has orders that will keep it going for 30 to 90 days but "there is no outlook beyond that." "I believe that they are getting new orders but that they are passing them on to their plant in Mexico," she said. Company officials have pointed out that when the auto market dips the Sydney plant has difficulty compet? ing with plants in areas like Mexico and Taiwan where labor rates are considerably lower. The company last week terminated its Ford Philco A tuner line, idling 70 people, and, according to Mrs. Cooper, is shipping the equipment for assembling the tuners to Mexico. She also said that the company has been filming assembly operations on closed circuit television in recent ninths and sending the films to Mexico to assist in trainng Mexican workers. 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