Unifor protests to demand $10 million in monies owed to Wescast workers

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WINGHAM—Today, Unifor members rallied outside the Wescast plant in Wingham, Ontario. The protest is in response to Wescast Industries continued refusal to pay approximately $10 million in severance and termination pay owed to workers who were laid off in 2023 following the Company’s decision to cease foundry operations. 

“Unifor stands firmly with the workers of Wescast in their fight for accountability from this overseas company,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Our union will not stand idly by as a multinational corporation attempts to run from its contractual and legal obligations and stiff the hard-working people of Wingham."

The protest brought together hundreds of Unifor members from across southwestern Ontario and was aimed at raising awareness of the situation facing approximately 200 former Wescast employees. The union estimates Wescast workers are owed approximately $10 million in termination and severance pay. The company's China-based owners Bohong Industries Group continues to withhold payment. 

“It is incredibly shameful that despite years of dedicated service, Wescast workers are being taken advantage of by this company,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Samia Hashi. “Our union will not back down. We will not give up this fight until workers are paid every cent they are owed for their years of blood, sweat and tears.”

The Wescast plant is a historic facility that previously operated from 1902 until 2023 when Bohong Industries Group announced it would cease operations. Workers at the facility previously built cast components for the auto industry, some having over 40 years of service.

On April 17, 2024 Unifor sent a letter to the Ontario Director of Employment Standards seeking intervention in the matter. A copy of the letter was sent to Ontario Minister of Labour David Piccini. 

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers across various industries. The union advocates for the rights of all working people, fights for equality and social justice, and strives to create a better future for all Canadians.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative David Molenhuis at @email or by cell at (416) 575-7453.

Media Contact

David Molenhuis

National Communications Representative