TORONTO (Dec. 14, 2009)—Union workers at Infinity Rubber Technology Group Inc.'s Toronto plant have gone on strike after the company asked for pay and insurance contribution concessions.
The United Steelworkers announced Dec. 2 that members of Local 526L walked out in response to demands by Infinity for hourly employees to take $5-per-hour wage cuts and pay for 50 percent of their group insurance benefits, according to Bryan Adamczyk, a USW staff representative.
The work force already had taken several hits prior to the strike, according to the USW, including layoffs that cut the size by more than half, to 44 from more than 100. Also, in November 2008 the same group of workers was asked to take a $2-per-hour wage cut, Adamczyk said.
Before the first set of wage cuts last year, some workers were earning in the $20-per-hour range. Infinity President James Chung didn't return calls asking for comment.
Many of the workers at the custom mixing site in Toronto have more than 20 years of experience there, most of it with Biltrite Rubber (1984) Inc. A group of Biltrite managers and investors bought the assets of the business and renamed it in July after the Biltrite group, including Biltrite Rubber, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada in March.