UPDATED: Michelin shutting down part of production in Granton

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Michelin Tire announced today that it is greatly reducing its production in Granton. About 500 employees will be impacted.

Michelin plant in Pictou County

Some found out at work, others got a call at home. Still others who should have been sleeping from working backshift the night before were woken, to find out devastating news.

About 500 jobs are being cut at the Michelin plant in Granton. The first 200 will lose their jobs in June 2014 and the remaining 300 will lose theirs in June 2015.

Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. announced publicly at noon Monday it will significantly reduce tire manufacturing at its car and light truck tire plant over the next 18 months. The move is in response to a continuing shift in the North American car tire market to larger size tires and the limits of the existing plant.

“The market has changed dramatically since the plant was built in 1971, and the company is changing with market demands,” said Michelin North America President Grant Ferguson. “Market demand for small car tire dimensions, such as the 14-, 15-, and 16- inch tires produced at the Pictou County plant, is diminishing. Investment costs to upgrade the 43-year-old plant for larger car tire production are not cost-effective.”

By June 30, 2015, tire production at the plant will be significantly reduced, impacting about half of the current employees at the facility.

The manufacturing change will occur in two phases: by June 30, 2014, a tire manufacturing production line that produces small dimension car tires will permanently close, affecting approximately 200 employees. By June 30, 2015, the remaining tire production activity at the site will be reduced, impacting approximately a further 300 employees.

While many workers received a call from the company, David Gerrior said he ended up hearing the news from his wife who heard about it at work. He talked with a co-worker who told him what he knew.

"At least we have some time to pursue other opportunities before we are done," he said.

He said this is his third job loss as a result of workplace closure.

"We haven't starved to death yet so somebody upstairs is definitely looking out for me and my family," he said. "I predict much prayer in my future and many others in Pictou County."

Another employee who worked on the OCX line building tires and wished to remain anonymous said employees kind of knew in a non-official way this was happening, or at least could happen, but didn’t know when.

“My job will be cut, but Michelin is likely to transfer or retrain as many people as possible to fill in new jobs,” she said. “There are also a lot of people ready to retire, so the company will lose some people naturally. There will still be a significant amount of people out of work which will be devastating to our community.”

Significant aspects of Michelin’s Canadian operations will continue at the Pictou County site. Some high-performance car tire production, tire membrane production and the existing rubber mixing operation will continue along with the company’s Canadian corporate offices.

“We have a long history of manufacturing here, and we care deeply about the well-being of our workforce and the community,” said Ferguson. “We will continue as a significant manufacturing employer in Pictou County with our remaining operations on site, and we will continue to invest in Nova Scotia.”

Deborah Carty, director of communications for the company, said they will still be going ahead with the natural gas pipeline that’s been planned with Heritage Gas.

“The pipeline will provide energy to run our plant boilers for our remaining production on-site, such as our rubber mixing plant and our high performance tire shop. We moved to natural and compressed natural gas at our three sites to reduce our carbon emissions, save energy and reduce costs,” she said.

 

The reduction of tire manufacturing at Michelin Pictou County will not affect Michelin’s other two Canadian tire plants in Bridgewater and Waterville, Nova Scotia.

All impacted Michelin Pictou County hourly and salary employees will have an opportunity to relocate to the company’s tire production facilities located in Bridgewater and Waterville, N.S. Severance packages are available for all impacted employees.

“We will work closely with all Michelin Pictou County employees affected by this decision to assess their situation and to help determine their best option and their choice moving forward — whether they will be able to retire, transfer to another position or transfer to another Michelin location in Nova Scotia,” said Ferguson.  

Recognizing the Michelin Pictou County plant is a significant part of the local economy, Michelin Canada is also launching Michelin Development, a community development program to assist in the creation of new jobs in the small business sector in the neighbouring communities of Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties. Michelin Development provides low-interest business loans and small business expertise to eligible applicants. More information on this program will be released later this spring.

Tony Rose, academic chair at the NSCC campus in Stellarton, said they didn't have any specific programs targeted for positions at Michelin, but he believes there will be some graduates impacted who might have looked for job opportunities there.

As in the past when large employers have had to make job cuts he said the community college will likely work with the government to help come up with ways to help the displaced workers find other employment.

Organizations: Service OCA and Service Zed

Geographic location: Granton

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Recent comments

  • Angie
    March 05, 2014 - 21:15

    Everyone in a panic. I'm thankful Michelin at least offered something to their employees.I know how it feels to loose a job like this, They closed our plant in Trenton a year ago.At least now people are feeling for these guys who lost their jobs . We walked out the gate with nothing , The comments in the paper for the most part were Suck it up.We had a unique business ,build hundred ton shafts that few in the world could handle,we had a fire..the politicians went into hiding ,except a couple. thankyou Clary .Before that Maritime Steel.now Michelin, who is next?...Mr. Mc Neil is a fan of small business with low wages. better than nothing I guess...All the best to those unfortunate workers.

  • Michelin Mom
    March 04, 2014 - 10:28

    My prayers go out to all Michelin families at this terrible time. And yes, Michelin employees have always considered themselves to be a part of the Michelin Family, my husband included. What everyone needs to remember is that the jobs being lost are jobs that created jobs. Because my husband made a decent wage at Michelin, the small business man had someone to sell his product or service to, and if he was busy enough, he hired a helper who bought his lunch at a local restaurant, etc. People of Pictou County are not too proud to work at a minimum wage job, but how many minimum wage jobs will we have to work to pay our mortgage, car payments, electricity bill, home heating, clothing, groceries, medical and dental. My husband losing his job is going to effect your job, regardless of where you work.

  • Jane MacDonald
    March 04, 2014 - 09:00

    This is where your local MLAs need to step in. This is why they are in the position they are in and what they are paid for . The amount of money put into other companies over the years like Trenton Works, etc and the government can't step in here now. The trickle effect of this loss will be devastating. The effects in the community will definitely be felt everywhere including local economy with entertainment, food, sports etc. You talk about gym memberships being down now, for example, what do you think they will be in a year from now. Hence, further problems for places like the Wellness Center. Get your MLAs involved !

  • brynn79
    March 04, 2014 - 06:22

    Just another reason to move away from Nova Scotia. Really though, why stay here????

  • Ng resident
    March 03, 2014 - 20:36

    Why cant they just make bigger tires? Because they can get them made cheaper easlware. And yes some will get to relocate which means leaving everything they have and worked for i do no see how that is positive.

  • Cecil
    March 03, 2014 - 16:22

    Bullshit , michlin knew for quite awhile that the car manufactures were going to a different tire , that is why the just finished building a new plant in Mexico. Cheap labour and no more government money means adios pictou county

  • frank
    March 03, 2014 - 15:50

    Don't worry folks,remember Mcneil's election promise,he will grow the economy" 1 job at a time".with small business.

  • fred
    March 03, 2014 - 14:28

    Its OK they got all the government money they could get.Lets downsize the government MLA,s

    • behalf of westville
      March 03, 2014 - 14:59

      MLA'S say they dont want to see nova scotians leaving but when there is no jobs available in our towns than people have to go to another province to look for jobs and it is very hard to get help from welfare services .

  • caperlady
    March 03, 2014 - 13:50

    Could this be another source of business gone off to China, seems like everything else is headed that way. People need to wake up and start lobbying our Federal & local Government to keep jobs in Canada! Have you went into Walmart lately, almost everything you buy from there is from China, wake up people or watch the documentary "Death by China", we need to all wake up before it's too late, I would rather pay a little more money for an item made in Canada than to see people from here without jobs, remember nothing is life comes cheaper, we'll pay for it in the end!

    • JLM
      March 03, 2014 - 15:24

      Caperlady, if you read the article instead of assuming the worst, you'll see it says all employees will have the opportunity to relocate to one of the other plants. Jobs are not going to China, just a different part of the province. And yes, business have products made in China but that's because it costs less there to make them. If you're willing to pay 10 times the price for things, I'm certain businesses would buy Canadian. However, as long as consumers insist on the lowest prices for everything, businesses have no choice but to purchase less expensive product. They're not charities, they're businesses who need to pay taxes, utilities, wages, etc. and they can't do that by selling to you for less than what they paid for something.

    • diane
      March 03, 2014 - 16:35

      walmart is American owned and Michelin is France owned. We need to start purchasing from CANADIAN companies. Michelin and Walmart don't put money in canadian business owners hands. STOP BUYING AT WALMART

    • jim
      March 03, 2014 - 18:53

      if anyone believes these workers will be offered jobs it will be in mexico or china we can thank harper and his free trade mission done molurney started it harper finished finished canada we are screwed as far as all the good jobs out west they are a blessing but a matter of time imigrants will be filling those if you want a job you will be recieving very few buck an hour its a sinking ship

    • michelin spouse
      March 04, 2014 - 13:17

      In reply to JLM...give your head a shake? My husband may have the opportunity to accept work at another plant but how can we, as a family relocate? Who is going to buy our home? There is nothing here in Pictou County so why would one want to purchase a house here? Obviously you didn't put any thought into your comment.

  • Debbie Cameron
    March 03, 2014 - 13:33

    YUP Just what NO JOBS PICTOU COUNTY NEEDS another large EMPLOYER to SHUT DOWN PART OF ITS PLANT SOOOO SAD

  • Dmac
    March 03, 2014 - 12:59

    Don't worry people. The province wants to bring an additional 7000 immigrants to NS a year to save the economy. They will be taking the the few jobs left or going on welfare but somehow the CB Post thinks this is good for the economy.

    • Vic
      March 03, 2014 - 17:13

      Non immigrants do not want to work for minimum wage - simple.

    • xxxX
      March 04, 2014 - 11:38

      If immigrants take the few jobs in NS is because they are more prepared than Canadians or they really want to work. Statistics have shown that Canadians go more on welfare than immigrants.

  • AwayfromHome
    March 03, 2014 - 12:25

    Scott - I understand where you are coming from. All of my family are here and when i had kids we continually looked for jobs to try to move home - Basically, there is nothing here and the province (except maybe Halifax) is growing old and stagnant. I wish my parents were not a 5 hr plane ride from my kids but am glad that i made the decision not to move back. PC is depressing for 10 months of the year - I still love the summers!

  • freaking out
    March 03, 2014 - 12:13

    Unbelievable! We purchased a new home two years ago.We have one child in elelmentary school, one in junior high, one in University. I was recently laid off...now my husband is unemployed!! Dear Jesus..what next?

  • observing it all
    March 03, 2014 - 11:57

    Thanks Michelin!!! Not only are we losing 500 jobs and the tax base that goes with it, we are left with the tax burden of the Wellness Centre that you pushed to have built to attract emplyees here.

    • Alex
      March 03, 2014 - 13:54

      Thank Michelin for the economic benefits provided to the county over the last 43 years. Fault the consumers and car makers for switching to larger tires.

  • scott
    March 03, 2014 - 11:42

    Typical, We get a notice of two maybe three hundred jobs coming here to grow marijuana. Everyone is happy and today we find out five hundred lose jobs by an existing company. Pictou county is dying a slow miserable death and we are all along for the ride. Moved back here for a nice place to raise my child....what a big mistake.

  • Green Thumb?
    March 03, 2014 - 11:24

    So... How are you are growing weed.