Former textile workers protest at National Assembly
A group of former clothing and textile workers protested Friday at the National Assembly in Quebec City.
As they watch the government spend millions to help workers in other industries, they say their industry has been losing strength for years. They want the provincial government to help unemployed textile workers find new employment.
Sam Hamad, the minister of labour, came out to speak with the protesters.
"For me what is important today is you. Each person present today... how can I help you to get jobs and find jobs," he said.
Those jobs are more and more difficult to come by, say the workers. In the case of the clothing manufacturing industry, "a lot of the companies are making more money by moving the manufacturing abroad," said Joey Calugy with the Immigrant Workers' Centre.
A number of companies with operations in Quebec have cut down their workforces in recent years. The Golden Brand Clothing Plant was the corner stone of the Moores suit company. It opened in 1961 and closed in July 2008, leaving 540 people out of work. Lamour Inc. laid off about 50 workers between July and September of 2007. In September 2006, Gildan Active Wear announced it would be cutting 210 jobs in Quebec, closing its textile plant in Valleyfield and downsizing its knitting plant in Montree de Liesse.