October 12, 2001
A statement by North Okanagan Labour Council President David Doran on the Western Star plant closure announcement:Perhaps the worst economic news in this region since the depression was announced at 6:30 a.m. today (Oct. 12). Employees at Western Star Trucks were informed of the impending closure of the Kelowna plant.
When was the decision made to close Western Star? Certainly not in the past week or so; these types of decisions are made many months or even years in advance.
The loss of 800 good paying union jobs in the Okanagan will have a great impact on the whole economy. This is certainly the biggest shutdown in this area at least since the depression.The ripple effect will not be noticed for several months, but as many as 3,000-5,000 people could be affected.
The Chamber of Commerce, our MLAs, Competition Minister Rick Thorpe and Labour should jointly condemn DaimlerChrysler for their actions and impress upon this government that tax cuts and reductions to ministry budgets will only exacerbate the fallout from this plant closure.