Iron Workers Insist CS Wind Is Not Closing

Wind turbine construction off Hwy 402 at Kerwood. (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

An official with the Iron Workers Local 721 says around 350 unionized workers at CS Wind in Windsor have been laid off over the past 18 months.

About 100 workers got their layoff notices in December.

“They haven’t been able to secure the necessary contracts to keep their employees and our members employed,” says General Organizer with the Iron Workers Local 721, Eric Bohne.

Just eight months after implementing a third shift, the company laid off 51 workers, and the company shut down the Windsor facility in July 2016 for six weeks because of a “gap between production orders.”

Bohne says company officials have insisted the plant in Windsor is not in danger of closing, but there are just two unionized workers left, a millwright and an electrician.

Last July, there were warnings the closure of the Seimen’s Plant in Tillsonburg could spell trouble for CS Wind in Windsor. The local plant makes wind turbine towers while Seimen’s made blades. However, Bohne says the company did not cite Seimens while listing its troubles.

“I asked that question to my contact with the company, and I was told not really. It was just projects were not moving forward,” says Bohne. “They’re bidding, and they’re hoping, and they’re waiting.”

At one time, 460 workers worked at CS Wind in Windsor.

The plant opened in 2011.