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Transcontinental abandons Manitoba workers during pandemic

September 25, 2020 - 12:00 AM

September 24, 2020

WINNIPEG–Transcontinental Inc. has announced that it is closing its last remaining printing plant in Manitoba, abandoning 93 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Transcontinental remains incredibly profitable, raking in $48.3 million net profit in the last quarter alone and that’s during the pandemic,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “This is a company that took $44 million from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, a program designed to save jobs during this crisis, and then opted to pull up stakes and take good paying positions out of Winnipeg.”

Transcontinental has shuttered 20 locations across Canada over the past 15 years. The Winnipeg plant is scheduled to shut down by 2021, although workers will be let go before then as the work load dwindles.   

“Just two years ago, Transcontinental committed to at least five years of production in Winnipeg with the possibility of extending to 10. This move not only betrays the workers, it will effectively kill large-scale commercial printing in the province of Manitoba,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.

The workers, members of Unifor Local 191, print magazines and flyers at the plant which has been operating for generations.

“This is a sad day for the workers, many of whom have decades of service at the plant,” said Jill Wilson, President of Unifor Local 191. “Clearly their loyalty has not been returned by Transcontinental.”

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange a phone, Facetime, Skype or Zoom interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).