Crown Metal Packaging will Close Its Canada Plant

A well-known packaging business, Crown Metal Packaging Canada, is planning on closing its operating plant in Chatham, Ontario, in October this year.

Canada Plant

The company produces sustainable liquid packaging for the beverage sector and sanitary beverages and food cans for the food industry at this site.

The business was taken over by Crown Cork & Steel Canada in 2003 when it was known as Star-Kist Company.

Food Production Daily, an online news portal, has contacted the business, which works as a secondary of Crown Holdings, to gain confirmation of the shutdown of operations at the Chatham plant, and is awaiting further comment. The regional newspaper received a copy of a letter that was sent to employees that mentioned the closure from Gordon Bell the Regional Manager, Manufacturing, at Crown Holdings.

Crown Metal Packaging – An Overview
A leading manufacturer of metal packaging products in Canada, the company’s products are used by many industries including food and beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical. The company offers metal packaging solutions in a variety of sizes that includes food and beverage cans, aerosol containers, lids, metal closures, and containers. The business is ISO 9001 certified and is a member of the Packaging Association of Canada who work in an environmentally friendly way being dedicated to sustainability in their products and operations.

This packaging business is a global company with operations in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. Based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, there are over 12,000 employees in 54 production facilities in over 11 countries. Their products are sold in over 100 countries around the world. The company is one of the subsidiaries of Crown Holdings which is a global leader in consumer packaging with operations in 40 countries and has over 27,000 employees.

Crown HoldingsEmployee Relations and Strikes
The company has been going through a tough period in recent months. Workers at the businesses Toronto factory recently concluded a dissatisfactory 22-month-long strike in July this Year. This plant is responsible for the production of canisters that are used for over 120 types of beers including Labatt, Molson, and Coors. According to an article in Star Regional newspaper, the workers at the plant haven’t been given a pay rise over the last nine years of employment. The company has been in contract negotiations with the workers, but this broke down when the US firm tried to implement a two-tiered pay scale that would mean that new employees would earn 42% less than existing ones. The company also proposed stopping its annual cost of living remuneration increase to its employees.

In addition to these planned changes the company also attempted to cut benefit entitlements, and pensions and extend pay cuts to all its employees regardless of their seniority. According to Lawrence Hey, Lead Negotiator of Unites Steelworkers in the dispute, they are happy that the strike’s over but simultaneously, they’re not so happy with the terms and conditions offered.

A letter received by employees at plant 257, as it is known, was told that production would cease on the 2nd of October due to changes in its customer support process. The letter also states that Crown Holdings will immediately start the process of working with every employee and that those who are covered by their union representatives or collective agreements, to find methods that minimise the negative impact on them due to the shutdown.

Gordon Bell reportedly quoted changes in consumer base, growing competition, and decreasing production volume as the main reasons behind the decision to close the plant. With the shutdown of this manufacturing plant in Chatham, the company will shift the premises into a warehouse space will minimal manpower at work.

It is still unknown if actions at the Toronto plant are connected to Crown Metal Packaging’s decision to close its Chatham plant.

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