Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Kodiak to close Terra Nova Shoes, move jobs to Ontario

Workers at a boot manufacturing facility in eastern Newfoundland say they're devastated by the company's decision to shut down production and move the plant to Ontario. Kodiak Group Holdings announced Tuesday it will cease production this fall at Terra Nova Shoes in Harbour Grace by the end of November.

The 80 people working at the plant will be given severance packages and bonuses to stay on through the fall, but will have to apply for jobs at a new plant in Cambridge, Ont. Wanda Lynch said she and her colleagues were shocked by the announcement, and many were so upset they left work early.

Wanda Lynch

Wanda Lynch, who has worked at the Terra Nova Shoes plant in Harbour Grace for 29 years, says she was shocked to find out Tuesday morning she would be out of a job in November. (CBC)
"I just froze. I said, 'This is not real, it can't be real,'" said Lynch.

"They told us they were closing the plant and I was shocked. I couldn't believe it and everybody else couldn't believe it. It's unbelievable."

"Successful candidates will receive relocation assistance to move," the company said in a statement.
Lynch said she doesn't plan to move to Ontario for work since her home is in Harbour Grace. But she also can't imagine what life will be like once the plant closes.

"Terra Nova Shoes put food on the table, did everything for us. I've been out there 29 years with the same people — it's hard," she said. "You get used to getting up and going to work every day, and all of a sudden everything is over."

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