Canada - Foseco plastic plant to close leaving 44 out of work

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Guelph (Canada) - Foseco Canada Inc. is shutting down its Guelph manufacturing site and warehousing operation, leaving 44 people jobless.

The plant produces a strong plastic useful for manufacturing material.

Company president Richard Dumoulin said the employees were told at a meeting yesterday that the administrative offices on the Speedvale Avenue West site will cease operations Oct. 31 and the warehouse will close Dec. 31.

Of the 44 employees affected, 29 are unionized labourers in the plant and 15 are salaried employees.

Half of the salaried employees work in the plant and the others have administrative positions.

Dumoulin said 13 sales and marketing positions within the company will remain and they will work from their homes.

He said the closure is due to a sharp decline in the market for lost foam casting in the last two to three years, resulting in a loss of revenue for the company.

Lost foam casting is a type of metal casting process that uses expandable foam patterns to produce castings.

Foseco produces polystyrene patterns, sold to foundries that convert them to metal castings, which are then used in automotive parts, recreational watercraft and transport trucks.

"All these industries have declined or started to shrink," Dumoulin said, adding Foseco is impacted by the difficulties facing the automotive industry, since it primarily feeds parts to the North American automotive manufacturers.

"The decision to close the Guelph site was a difficult one," said Nancy Valent, a company spokesperson.

The employees will be provided equitable severance packages and relocation counselling.

Vesuvius, Foseco's parent company, has a Canadian site in Welland, Dumoulin said, adding it's expected that Guelph's warehousing operations can be transferred to the Welland site.

Foseco Canada Inc. has been in Guelph since 1952 and operated on the Speedvale site for nearly 30 years. Before that, it was located on Alice Street.