NEWS

Old Dutch factory in Lachine closes its doors for good

09/27/2013 07:36 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST
More than 200 people are out of a job this morning as Montreal’s Old Dutch factory shuts its doors for good.

The potato-chip manufacturing plant, which stood in Lachine for 49 years, closed unceremoniously this morning.

The Minnesota-based company said Quebec customers will continue to be served by plants in New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta.

Originally a Humpty Dumpty plant built in 1964, the Norman Street manufacturer was acquired by Old Dutch in 2006. The plant was used without interruption for all of its 49 years.

The company had asked the Quebec government for a subsidy of between $20-25 million to renovate and modernize its plant. The request was denied by Quebec Industrial Policy Minister Élaine Zakaïb in June.

Workers like Rohan Williams, whose last overnight shift ended early Friday morning, say the severance offered by the company was disappointing.

He says his 11 years of working as a sanitation worker at the plant got him less than a week’s severance. And people who’d worked at the plant for more than 25 years got a week’s severance, Williams says.

“It was so low the workers didn’t even want to take a vote on it. They said there’s nothing to vote about, so that is one of the big disappointments,” Williams says.

“We walked away with virtually nothing.”

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