Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 4, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, Nbniiry 4, THE LETHlftlDGE HERAID 13 Layoff scene grim By IRVING C. WHYNOT Canidian Press Business Editor Where do Canada's half mil- lion unemployed come from? A Nova Scotia plant making push-button tuners for car ra- dios cuts its staff by one-third. Two hundred are left without jobs. A pet food company closes an uneconomic operation in On- tario and 76 are left jobless. A mine in northern Alberta announces plans to lay off 78 workers. A Cross-Canada Survey by The Canadian Press shows scores of scattered closings and work-force reductions in a wide range of industrial operations such as these. In total, they contribute heav- ily to the workers with- out jobs in December, as re- ported on a seasonally-adjusted basis by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. CAUGHT IN SQUEEZE Business lagged during 1970 as the federal government fought inflation and many com- panies found themselves caught in a squeeze on profits. Some cut staffs or reduced product lines. Others closed completely. All told, more than busi- nesses failed in Canada during 1970 compared with a year earlier. It was the highest fail ure total since 1966. Dun and Bradstreet credit-re- porting service says the col- lapsed firms left liabilities of J264.9 million, up from the pre- vious high of million in 1966. In December alone, fail- ures totalled 200, up 18 per cent from December of 1969. Some workers saved their jobs by agreeing to wage freezes for a year or more. Two recent such settlements in On- tario involved about work- ers. A University of Toronto pro- fessor says the wage-freeze deal may be requested by still more financially-troubled companies as a way out of their problems Labor unions are wary that it could be the start of a trend. TEXTILES HIT Some industries were hit har- der than others. Generally, the textile, chemical, stioe, tronie and aerospace industries among those reporting work-force reductions. Across the country, these lay- offs and reductions are 8am- ples: Canadian Marconi Co. laid off about in 1970 and has no idea when they can be reMred Northern Electric Co. laid of. SIX) or more in Ontario an( Quebec and RCA Ltd. laid off 400, mainly in Montreal. LAY OFF 10 PER CENT About have been laid of in the pulp and paper industry in Quebec, about 10 per cent a the entire force represented by two major unions. Canadair Ltd. of Montreal says the Canadian aerospace in- dustry is having a rough time From January, 1970, to Feb. 1 this year it laid off people DuPont of Canada Ltd. laic? off 574 workers in its Kingston Ont., plant and 269 at MaiUand Ont. Both plank are involvec with1 nylon manufacturing and a company spokesman says as far as he can see the textile indus- try is still in trouble. STAFF DOWN Massey-Ferguson Ltd. reports a Canadian woi1' force of abon' down from about a few years ago. A major plant at Brantford, Ont., which normally employed went through a of staff reductions, ex tended vacations and productioi shifts. It now employs about 600. At least one grocery super market chain cut its staff after outbreak of a discount war Some brokerage houses cut staf and reduced salaries of partner; during the slow market period of 1970. Manitoba hasn't been hard hi but Art Coulter, executive sec- retary of the Manitoba Federa lion of La'.wr, says a couple o steel construction and fabricat ing firms "have been down somewhat." Saskatchewan labor leaders report no major .shutdowns or reductions but there is some softness in the construction in dustry, highly seasonal at the best of times. In Alberta, about 180 of 680 workers in three niobile-home plants have been laid off "be- cause of economic condition. A labor spokesman says the steel fabricating industry has been "Iwd hit with some reduc ing staff by 60 per cent." 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