- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

If you do not have friends or family there, you may have forgotten that Tenneco (formerly Monroe) is closing its plant in Owen Sound this spring after 43 years here. Suddenly, it is an Essential Workplace.

The plant is down to about half the employees that were working there when the closure announcement was made in October 2018. At that time workers were told that there was only enough business for two out of four of Tenneco's “ride-control” plants in North America, and that the closure was expected to save the company $20 - $25 million.

Remaining hourly workers have been informed that the remainder of their contract will be honoured, whether they work or not. Closing today would not be a financial hardship for the Owen Sound staff. They are making the last few products for their employer to sell before they go from being Essential Workers to Unnecessary Workers in the next six weeks or so.

Families of Tenneco workers  are currently tennecobuttonhome from school and work, hoping that the co-workers of their daughters/grandsons/fathers/mothers/husbands/wives are all washing their hands and following experts' advice, at work and away from it.

Tenneco's statement

"Tenneco / DRiV is a manufacturer and supplier of products for Essential Workplaces, including but not limited to the agriculture, automotive and construction industries. As a manufacturer and supplier of products to these critical industries, Tenneco / DRiV is itself an Essential Workplace as provided by the Order of the Premier of Ontario dated March 23, 2020 and is maintaining normal operations to continue supplying these industries. As such, we are working to continue business operations with a commitment to employee safety as our top priority. We spoke with the Ministry of Labor on the phone last week and reviewed our practices and confirmed we were in compliance and doing the right things.

The precautions we take at every facility include implementing rigorous cleaning and sanitation protocols and implementing changes in our manufacturing sites to comply with social distancing requirements. We encourage any employee who is not feeling well to seek medical attention immediately, and we continue to work with our team members, especially those at higher risk, to ensure they feel safe and have open lines of communications with them.

As an essential business, we will continue doing everything we can to keep operating safely and ensuring that our operations are properly supported. Most importantly, Tenneco will continue to safeguard the health and safety of our team members around the world. We will continue to promote safe hygiene practices that help us do our part to limit the spread of the virus in the communities where we live and work."




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