One of the oldest manufacturing companies in Lac-Mégantic is closing its doors, affecting 180 workers.
Union members at the Masonite plant, which has been locked out since last February, learned the news from the employer Tuesday morning while a negotiating session was scheduled to take place in the presence of a negotiator.
“The loss of 180 jobs in a small community of about 6,000 people is still a big blow. Especially since the majority are people of a certain age who plan to continue until their retirement,” said Bernard Cournoyer, union adviser at the Central of Democratic Unions (CSD).
“This news is a shock, especially since three weeks ago, in the last session, we thought that a long-term agreement should be reached from both sides,” said union president Rémy Grenier.
The interior wood door manufacturer on Villeneuve Street operated as Premdor until it was acquired by Masonite International Corporation in 2013.
“Last year, we worked a lot of overtime and we were paid overtime because we had a lot of work and now we are closed. I find it really weird,” said one worker, puzzled by the statement.
The company has been around for decades, as employees have indicated that their grandparents already worked there.
The union is wondering about the real reasons for the shutdown. This is the third Quebec plant that Masonite has closed in five years.
At the company’s headquarters in Tampa Bay, Florida, the company explained its decision.
“I can confirm that Masonite has permanently ceased operations at the Lac-Mégantic plant effective June 27, 2023,” a Masonite spokesperson said. The company has a long-term strategy to optimize our production network to increase service levels and operational efficiencies. Masonite is committed to maintaining a strong operational presence in Canada.