HALIFAX - Reaction is beginning to pour in from politicians across the province with news that Michelin's plant in Granton will shed 500 employees by 2015.
Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education
I can confirm that the department received official notice of the layoff this morning. There’s no question this news is tough for the people affected and their families. We know this is a very emotional, stressful time for many people. We want the Michelin workers to know that the province will be there for workers to make sure they have the support they need during this difficult time. We have a transition team in place that is ready to help workers, and we will work closely with Michelin to determine exactly what services are needed.
Those supports can include things like career counseling and planning, help with re-attaching to the workforce through resume updating and career searching. Other supports include help with navigating the EI process, especially in the short term. Michelin employees should know that the province will continue to offer all resources possible to ensure they are supported during this difficult time.
Hon. Peter MacKay, Member of Parliament for Central Nova
Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada
"I am disappointed that, due to diminished market demand for small tire dimensions, Michelin has had to take the difficult decision to reduce positions in the Granton plant over the next two years.
Jobs in Pictou county are important and I am deeply concerned at these news.
I understand that the company will put in place a number of opportunities for affected employees, including the option of relocating to Michelin plants in Bridgewater and Waterville, along with fair and reasonable severance packages and encouraging employees close to retirement to use those packages to transition to retirement. Michelin has assured me that the Granton plant will continue to operate with over 600 employees.
I look forward to details of the new Michelin Development program, which will provide low-interest business loans to create new jobs in Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough and Colchester counties.
As always, my office remains available to provide any assistance to existing federal government programs."
Statement from Opposition leader Jamie Baillie:
"I am saddened by the devastating news about the loss of 500 important jobs at the Michelin plant in Granton.
My heart goes out to the hundreds of families that will be affected by these job reductions. It will also be hard for all Nova Scotians to watch, as more good paying jobs are lost.
As the Ivany Report points out, our province is at a critical crossroads. We must get the fundamentals right. We simply cannot stand by while jobs and families leave our province for opportunities elsewhere.
Today's announcement is another reminder that we cannot accept the status quo in Nova Scotia. We must act now to create and preserve jobs."
Pictou County MLAs react to Michelin closure
PICTOU – Pictou’s Progressive Conservative MLAs Karla MacFarlane, Tim Houston and Pat Dunn are devastated to learn Michelin Canada is slowing production of its manufacturing facility in Granton, effectively eliminating 500 jobs from the community.
Karla MacFarlane of Pictou West says she’s sickened by the news and wants to be part of the solution to turn Pictou’s economy around.
“I know how hard these employees work and it’s crushing to see them put in this situation,” said MacFarlane. “We need a plan to keep jobs at home and cannot continue to watch as good people struggle to make ends meet. These blows to our communities are unacceptable.”
Tim Houston of Pictou East says he’s frustrated by the news and is determined to reverse this trend.
"I am thinking first and foremost about my friends and constituents who are impacted by this sad news. It’s a scary day for them and for all of Pictou County,” said Houston. "As we digest and work through this news, it's clear that we need to find ways to help rural Nova Scotia thrive and reverse this flow of heartbreaking news.”
Pat Dunn of Pictou Centre says he's tired of seeing his community struggle and wants a plan to protect jobs.
“These workers and their families deserve better. My heart goes out to each and every one of them,” said Dunn. "We need to get the conditions right in this province, so companies like Michelin will continue to invest and employ our men and women.”