Tamsin McMahon, Macleans
When it opened for business at the site of a shuttered assembly plant in Windsor, Ont., CS Wind was hailed as an early success story for the Ontario government’s flagship green energy program, which aimed to spark a renewable resource industry in the province and create jobs for thousands of unemployed manufacturing workers.
The Korean company, which manufactures the towers used in wind turbines, is a partner in a consortium led by Samsung that promised to open factories to employ Canadians building wind turbines and solar panels. In exchange, the province agreed to buy nearly $10 billion worth of renewable energy from producers at above market-rates (later reduced to $6 billion after complaints it would drive up energy bills). CS Wind said it planned to hire as many as 500 local workers, many of them out-of-work welders, and build towers out of steel from Sault Ste. Marie.
Yet years after then-premier Dalton McGuinty toured the plant for its December 2011 opening—sitting at the controls of a specialized hoist truck and declaring that his green energy strategy was “creating good jobs for our families”— the company’s use of two dozen temporary workers from Vietnam has become a key issue in an ongoing labour dispute at the factory. Read article