The official confirmation of 1,300 job losses at the Electrolux factory in L'Assomption had political leaders sparring once again Friday. 

The Swedish appliance company had announced in December 2010 that it would transfer the jobs to Memphis, Tennessee but only on Friday did it confirm that the closure would happen on July 18.

CAQ leader Francois Legault visited the facility Friday and met with workers. “Everything must be done now to replace those jobs,” he said. “These were 1,300 jobs at $25 an hour. There will be a major impact. The PQ has known about this and done nothing for 18 months. Nothing,” said Legault.

Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois said that the government made efforts to save the jobs.

“We worked very hard with the people at Electrolux,” Marois said Friday. “We even attempted to find buyers for the plant. We did not give up because we believe it is possible to find other investors,” said Marois.

Marois took a swipe at Legault, who had criticized the PQ government one night earlier for offering corporate subsidies to keep jobs in Quebec.

“Legault said that we must abolish all forms of aid to companies to stay in Quebec, this was a good example of that,” she said.

Liberal leader Philippe Couillard suggested retraining the workers and said that they should not have to accept lower wages to keep working. “Quebec should not compete by lowering working conditions,” he said.

Couillard took the occasion to demonstrate that this was the sort of thing that concerns voters more than many other issues which gain the spotlight.

“I see the contrast between the real concerns of the people. Imagine the families in this situation and then we spend all that time debating referendums or how people should dress. It shows that the government is out of touch.”