TORONTO—First came Stelco. More recently Electro-Motive.
Two major operations supported by proud, hard-working middle class Canadians sucked into the vortex of foreign acquisition; labour disputes and lengthy lockouts.
The government stepped in (sort of) with U.S. Steel’s acquisition of Stelco in 2007, but let more than 3,000 workers sit on pickets lines for more than a year.
Caterpillar shuttered London’s Electro-Motive plant after union leaders shunned a labour offer that cut wages in half, putting 450 Canadians out of work despite reporting a 60 per cent profit jump a week earlier.
And of course there are others left to suffer the same fate before them. Fortunately not all has been lost with a number of them, but Canada’s branch-plant economy is now, more-than-ever, in full-swing.
The likes of Falconbridge and Dofasco were both acquired by foreign multi-nationals, but fortunately are still operating.
Even early 2012 brought changes as one of Canada’s last remaining steel makers, Lakeside Steel, was purchased for $58.7 million by Chicago’s JMC Steel Group—which happened to be owned by Windsor’s uber-rich Zekelman family at one point (a family who consistently makes appearances on lists of Canada’s richest).
To show just how Canada’s branch-plant economy has evolved, CanadianManufacturing.com has put together the photo gallery below to illustrate those companies acquired by foreigners and those that may in danger of the same fate.
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