TRURO, N.S. — Hundreds of workers will soon be without jobs following the closure of a Truro, N.S., carpet plant, one of the city's oldest operating manufacturers.
The 240 employees of Tarkett North America were told Tuesday afternoon that their work will move to Dalton, Georgia, with the Truro plant scheduled to close on July 16.
In a statement to employees, Tarkett North America said the decision is "in no way reflective of the calibre of work done in Truro" and is simply a "business decision related to the sustainability of operations and the future of our company
"We will do everything we can to provide our employees with the care and support they require at this difficult time," the statement reads.
"We are proud of what we have accomplished together. Truro is home to many of us and, while we are closing a significant chapter, we look forward to seeing what lies ahead for the community."
Tarkett said it is also closing a plant in Waterloo, Ont., where 70 people will be laid off, and is transferring that work to Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills says the company is a significant part of the community's workforce and the closure will likely have quite an impact.
"Any announcement like that in an area our size is certainly going to be huge," Mills said in a phone interview Tuesday. "The news spread like wildfire through the community today.
"It's not the kind of news you like to get."
The Truro plant, originally known as Crossley Carpets, has been in operation since 1964.
Lenore Zann, NDP MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, is calling it "a devastating loss for those who work at the factory, their loved ones, and the wider community."
"This factory has provided good jobs for residents of Truro for decades and having them pull up shop like this is extremely disappointing," Zann said in a statement Tuesday.
"My heart goes out to the employees and their families."
Mills is trying to find the silver lining in an otherwise dismal situation, saying he intends to be in contact with the company to figure out plans for the facility and what it can be adapted to.
"We're going to hit this thing head-on," he said. "We're going to obviously go through some sticker-shock on this, but again, I'm looking at what's the opportunity here.
"I think that's the high road we have to take."
Zann is calling on the Nova Scotia government to ensure employees are provided with transition support. But Mills may take things a step further.
"Even the federal government, to look at other uses for that facility," he stated. "I'm not going to stand here and weep about it. I'm not happy about it by any extent … but we'll bounce back.
"This is a project to be continued."
(Global News, The Canadian Press)