Transcript: Inglis Plant | Nov 02, 1994

[machines humming]

A woman in her forties, with long blond hair, wearing a
black overcoat, clocks in at a busy factory.

As she speaks, fast clips show her at work.

She says MY NAME IS
PAULETTE WATSON.
I WORKED AT INGLIS
FOR ABOUT 16 YEARS,
14 OF THOSE YEARS I
WORKED IN MACHINE SHOP
OPERATING VARIOUS
MACHINES.
THE JOB I DO AT WESTINGHOUSE
IS INSULATING COILS,
ELECTRICAL COILS FOR
MACHINERY FOR ALL PARTS
OF THE WORLD BASICALLY.
SO IT'S A LITTLE
MORE RESPONSIBILITY
THAN JUST RUNNING
A MACHINE.
IF THE COIL DOESN'T COME
OUT, IT'S PROBABLY MY FAULT.

A woman clerk in a household decorations store points out some items and speaks.
She is in her thirties with short reddish-brown hair and wears a black top with
a white lace V-neck collar.
The items she describes appear on screen.

She says WE HAVE ELVIS FIGURINES
WHERE ELVIS ROCKS BACK AND
FORTH AND THESE ARE LIMITED
EDITION COLLECTIBLES.
THE WATCHES, WHICH ARE
DISTRIBUTED BY A COMPANY
IN QUEBEC, ARE ALSO
COLLECTIBLES.

Katherine introduces herself. She says MY NAME IS
KATHERINE FEDERKO
AND I WORKED AT
INGLIS FOR 6 YEARS.
MY HUSBAND'S NAME IS ROMAN
AND WE MET AT INGLIS.
HE WORKED ON THE PAINT
LINE AND I WENT TO WORK
ON THE PAINT LINE FOR A FEW
MONTHS AND I WORKED WITH HIM.

Roman appears in his workshop dressed in white protective clothes and eyewear.
He is in his thirties, with short dark hair.

Roman says I WORKED AT INGLIS FOR
16 YEARS AND I STARTED
ON THE PAINT LINE
AND WHEN I FINISHED UP
I WAS WORKING IN
THE MACHINE SHOP.
I WAS MAKING
TRANSMISSION GEARS.

Katherine says WE WERE MARRIED IN '88, THE
YEAR AFTER WE OPENED THIS STORE.
HE WORKED STILL
FULL-TIME AT INGLIS,
I HAD A FULL-TIME JOB AND
WE WORKED THE STORE
IN THE DAYTIME - WE WERE
BOTH WORKING NIGHTS.

A man speaks from his home. He has short brown hair and a bushy moustache and
glasses. He wears a navy-blue smock with a lion rampant badge on it and speaks
with a thick Scottish accent.

Robert says MY NAME IS ROBERT SIMM
AND I WORKED AT INGLIS
FOR 18 YEARS AND 25 DAYS.
I WORKED IN THE MAINTENANCE
STORE FOR 11 YEARS.
I FIGURED, OH, I'LL
GET A JOB NO PROBLEM.

He gives a wry grin.

Robert continues UNFORTUNATELY, IT DIDN'T
WORK OUT THAT WAY.

[traffic din]

Clips run of a busy city street.

[pub chatter]

A scrawled sign on a door reads "Inglis Reunion - Walk In."
Inside a pub, people greet each other affectionately with handshakes,
back patting, et cetera. A sign in front of a pile of books reads
"WORKING AT INGLIS, 17 DOLLARS PER COPY.” Fast clips show books changing hands.

A male voice says TAKE YOUR BOOKS, MA'AM.

A gray-haired woman in a gray raincoat says I NEED TWO.

A young man with curly dark brown hair speaks. The caption reads “DAVID SOBEL -
CO-AUTHOR.”

David says THERE ARE LOTS OF HISTORIES
OF THOSE WHO LEAD COMPANIES,
WE WERE INTERESTED IN
TALKING TO THOSE WHO WERE
DOWN ON THE SHOP FLOOR
YEAR AFTER YEAR,
TOILING AWAY, MAKING
WASHING MACHINES,
PRIOR TO THAT
MAKING GRAIN-GUNS,
PRIOR TO THAT
MAKING BOILERS,
MAKING FUEL PUMPS.
IT'S A WORKERS'
HISTORY AND USUALLY
THE CONTRIBUTION OF
WORKERS TO PRODUCTION
AND TO OUR ECONOMIC
HEALTH IS IGNORED.

A formally dressed man in his sixties with glasses stands addressing an audience
with a mike in one hand and a sheet of paper in the other. The caption reads
“LYNN WILLIAMS - FORMER international PRESIDENT U.S.W.A.”

Lynn says I WISH THAT WE COULD HAVE
KEPT THE LOCAL GOING,
KEPT THESE JOBS IN
CANADA, KEPT WORKING,
BUT BY GOD, WE HAVEN'T GIVEN
UP THE STRUGGLE, FOLKS.

A woman in her fifties speaks. The caption reads “BEV BROWN - FORMER VP USWA
- LOCAL 2900.”

Bev says INITIALLY IN 1989
WHEN THE PLANT CLOSED,
THERE WERE JOBS, I MEAN
THEY WERE STILL HIRING,
BUT EARLY IN '90 WAS WHEN
THE NOSEDIVE CAME IN AND
START OF THE RECESSION AND
THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO WEREN'T ABLE TO
JUST GO FROM A JOB ON
THE ASSEMBLY LINE AT INGLIS
RIGHT INTO ANOTHER JOB.

The interviewer asks YOU'RE RETIRED
TOO AREN'T YOU?

A man with a beard and moustache in a yellow and white baseball
cap reading "local 2900" says YES. The caption reads “MIKE HERSH
- FORMER president U.S.W.A. LOCAL 2900.”

Mike says THE AVERAGE EDUCATION
AT INGLIS AT THE TIME
OF THE CLOSURE
WAS GRADE 9.
38 PERCENT OF OUR PEOPLE
TOOK TRAINING PROGRAMS.
I WOULD SAY THAT IN MOST
CASES IT HELPED BECAUSE
A LOT OF THE TRAINING - WE
HAD 122 PEOPLE TAKE ENGLISH
UPGRADING AND MATH
UPGRADING BECAUSE
THE FORMAL EDUCATION
LEVEL WAS SO LOW.

Robert says IN MY OPINION I
THINK THE RE-TRAINING
IS A BUNCH OF NONSENSE.
IT'S JUST A COP-OUT; IT'S
JUST AN EXCUSE FOR THE
GOVERNMENT TO SAY, WELL,
YOU'VE LOST YOUR JOB
AND THIS IS TO PROVE THAT
THE GOVERNMENT CARES
AND WE'LL RETRAIN YOU.
BUT RETRAIN YOU FOR WHAT?
RETRAIN YOU FOR WHAT?
THERE'S NO
MANUFACTURING LEFT.

Mike says THE TECHNICAL SKILLS
TRAINING IS HIT OR MISS.
THOSE OF US IN THE ADJUSTMENTS
BUSINESS ALL FIND THAT.
WE HAD 65 PEOPLE AT INGLIS
START AN APPLIANCE REPAIR
PROGRAM AT GEORGE BROWN, AND
I MEAN HOW MANY APPLIANCE
REPAIRMEN DO YOU NEED?
REALLY?

Robert says IF I GOT OFFERED A JOB
CLEANING, SWEEPING FLOORS,
WASHING FLOORS, WASHING
WINDOWS I'LL TAKE IT.
I'LL APPLY FOR ANY
JOB THAT'S GOING.

Paulette says THEY HAD VARIOUS
PROGRAMS AT THE PLANT
THAT YOU COULD ENROLL IN.
THEY WERE BASICALLY
INTRODUCTORY PROGRAMS.
I WAS A SINGLE PARENT, MY
DAUGHTER WAS GETTING READY
FOR UNIVERSITY AND SHE WOULD
BE NEEDING LOTS OF MONEY
AND THE MAIN THING
THAT WAS ON MY MIND
WAS TO FIND A JOB
MAKING LOTS OF MONEY.
THAT'S ALL I HAD ON MY MIND,
TO TAKE CARE OF MY DAUGHTER,
MAKE MONEY AND TAKE
CARE OF MY DAUGHTER.
TO ME, AT THE TIME, THOSE
PROGRAMS WEREN'T AN OPTION.

Roman says THEY HAD ALL KINDS OF GREAT
PROGRAMS AS LONG AS YOU
WERE GOING TO BE A MACHINE
REPAIRMAN OR GOING INTO
COMPUTERS, AND WHEN I
SAID, I TOLD THE LADY
WHO WAS INTERVIEWING ME FOR
THE SCHOOLING OR WHATEVER
IT WAS, I TOLD HER I WANTED
TO TRAIN AS A JEWELLER,
SHE TOOK IT AS A JOKE.
I APPROACHED THE
UNION ON THAT,
I SAID, WELL, LISTEN I KNOW
WHERE THERE'S COURSES,
WHY DON'T YOU HELP
ME OUT, SUBSIDIZE ME,
BECAUSE I'M PAYING FOR THIS,
I'M TAKING THESE COURSES
RIGHT NOW AND I DIDN'T
RECEIVE ANY ASSISTANCE FROM
THAT POINT-OF-VIEW AND I WAS
A BIT DISAPPOINTED IN THAT.

Robert says I'VE GOT TO BE OUT OF THIS
APARTMENT BY WEDNESDAY;
CAN'T AFFORD THE RENT.
I AM BROKE!
MOST OF THE JOBS I'VE WORKED
IN HAVE BEEN WAREHOUSES.
THEY DON'T MAKE
ANYTHING ANYMORE HERE.

David Sobel says THE MANUFACTURING ECONOMY
IS RE-EMPLOYING PEOPLE
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS
BUT DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION
DOES CONTINUE,
WILL CONTINUE.
I THINK WE NEED TO TAKE A
LOOK AT THE EXTENT OF WHICH
THESE JOBS ARE PART-TIME
JOBS, TEMPORARY JOBS,
JOBS THAT ARE SUPPORTED BY
PROGRAMS LIKE JOBS ONTARIO.
THE AUTO SECTOR IS EMPLOYING
LOTS OF NEW PEOPLE THESE DAYS,
BUT NOT IN THE NUMBERS
THAT THEY DID BEFORE.
THE OVERRIDING IMPERATIVE
OF MODERN MANUFACTURING
TECHNOLOGY IS TO REPLACE
LABOUR WITH MACHINERY.

A blond woman in her fifties stands with Sobel in front of the factory fence.
She is dressed in a black overcoat with white bands in front. The caption reads
“SUSAN MEURER - CO-AUTHOR.”

Susan says YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE THAT
AT ONE POINT THERE WERE 16,
17,000 PEOPLE COMING
TO WORK IN THIS AREA,
NOT TO MENTION A
FEW THOUSAND MORE
AT THE OTHER PLANTS
AROUND HERE.
SO IT'S REALLY QUITE
STRIKING TO SEE IT NOW
PERSON-LESS AND TOTALLY
DEVOID OF THE LIFE
THAT USED TO BE
HERE ALL THE TIME.

Sobel says WELL, IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE
NOW THAT THERE'S WEEDS
COVERING MOST OF THIS
PARKING LOT, BUT BEFORE
IT CLOSED, THERE WERE
TRUCKS MOVING IN AND OUT
OF THIS PARKING
LOT ALL THE TIME.
THEY BUILT WASHING
MACHINES.
THIS WAS PART OF THE MAINLINE
IN THIS BUILDING OVER HERE.

Paulette says THE THING I'M
PROUDEST OF IS THAT
I DON'T OWE FOR
ANYTHING.
WHAT LITTLE I
HAVE IS PAID FOR,
THE APARTMENT IS AN OLD
APARTMENT, BUT IT'S VERY
WELL-KEPT AND I TRY TO KEEP
IT THAT WAY AS MUCH AS I CAN.
I THINK THE REASON THAT I
WAS ABLE TO GO AND FIND
A JOB WAS JUST
DETERMINATION.
I WAS SCARED; I WAS AFRAID
THAT IF I DIDN'T FIND WORK
I WOULD END UP ON WELFARE, NOT
THAT THAT'S A BAD THING,
IT'S JUST THAT WHEN
YOU'RE ON WELFARE,
SOMETIMES YOU DON'T HAVE A
CHOICE MAYBE OF WHERE YOU
CAN LIVE AND MY PRIORITY
IN MY LIFE WAS ALWAYS
MY DAUGHTER AND I WAS
AFRAID TO HAVE HER GROW UP
MAYBE IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD
THAT WOULD BE UNSAFE.

She shows some photos.

Paulette continues THIS IS MY DAUGHTER
AND HER HUSBAND
AND THIS IS MY
GRANDDAUGHTER AND THAT WAS
ON MY GRANDDAUGHTER'S
CHRISTENING DAY.

Katherine says I WOULDN'T WANT TO
DO ANYTHING ELSE.
I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE
WORKING FOR ANYBODY ELSE
ANYMORE, EITHER, I
THOROUGHLY ENJOY IT.
THERE'S TOO MUCH INSECURITY
IN THE WORKFORCE TODAY
AND WE WORK VERY HARD
EVERY DAY AND WE KNOW
THAT WE ARE GOING TO
BE HERE NEXT YEAR
AS LONG AS WE
EARNESTLY CONTINUE IT.

Roman says I'M NOT SURE ABOUT
ANY OTHER FACTORY,
BUT I PROBABLY WOULD GO
BACK TO INGLIS IF I COULD
AND MAYBE HIRE SOMEBODY
TO WORK IN THE STORE.
I REALLY ENJOYED
WORKING THERE.
I HAVE NO BIG GRUDGES
OR COMPLAINTS.

The program closes with a nighttime view of Inglis.

Watch: Inglis Plant