Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
8:57 PM EDT
2014-08-07 at 13:20

Illinois Tool Works comments on decision to move GRK out of city

By tbnewswatch.com

The parent company of GRK Fasteners, a local business facing closure because of a planned move to the U.S.,  is now commenting on the issue.

The facility on Rosslyn Road has been operating in Thunder Bay for nearly two decades.  Illinois Tool Works Construction says it will close the facility on Dec. 31 after considerable analysis of global fastener capacity and market demand.

ITW officials say the decision was difficult, but the company feels moving the operation south will enhance the long-term competitiveness of the brand. 

The Thunder Bay plant employs about 40 people and all employees will receive separation benefits. 

ITW officials add that the decision to close the facility in no way reflects the level of skill or dedication of the GRK workforce. ITW purchased the operation in 2011 from the Walther family. 

The deal was contingent on keeping the operation in Thunder Bay for three years.

(TBT News)

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analyst1 says:
Not to digress, but the popsicle stick plant was joke/scam from day 1. They came here because of the government handout. If it worked, great, if not who cares. It cost the owners zero. Who builds a plant without knowing 100% that they have secured raw material? Nobody - except people that don't actually care if it fails. They could have got logs IF they actually needed them and could pay for them. The birch would have worked perfectly - that was not the issue. They issue was that they had zero customers and no order file. AND production was a disaster because the equipment was recycled junk from another plant that nobody could put back together again. The government's problem was that they drank the kool-aid that these guys were selling without properly vetting them or their plan.
8/9/2014 8:43:32 AM
red_foreman says:
when ITW bought GRK, the president of ITW Canada stood in front of all the employees and said " we don't buy companies to dismantle them, we don't buy companies to resell them and we don't buy companies to close and move them. We buy companies that are successful to make them bigger and better. " giving us all FALSE HOPE !!!....now if he had said we are here for only three years then moving, I, as many others there, would have started looking elsewhere for a job then....now three years older and 3 years closer to retirement, the job hunt gets a lot harder !!!
8/9/2014 8:40:56 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Yes VARGA THEY Did but Michel also forgot to give them the wood they needed, and the MNR did not tell them that the northern Birch was not suitable for their purpose. So a big loss for you and me the Tax Payer.
That is the Liberal way
8/8/2014 3:48:45 PM
varga says:
I think people forget that we are 8 hours from any other major center sometimes. There is no fix for that. Maybe if Mayor Hobbs spent more time building other cities closer to us we wouldn't have this problem??!! Be serious now...
Business is always going to do what makes the most money...that's how business works and let's not forget the other side of the coin. The Ontario government gave a certain popsicle stick making company a load of incentives to build their plant here and as soon as they were done sucking that teet they vanished! What we need to do is find business that can succeed in our region and attract them here not just randomly set up companies that are unlikely to make it here to begin with.
8/8/2014 10:46:40 AM
scarcello4westfort says:
Obviously this is unfortunate, the good news is that they had a good run and operated in Thunder Bay for 24 years and made a positive contribution to our city. I don't see anything the city could have done to prevent this.
8/8/2014 10:27:57 AM
Shane Caker says:
The original post quoted one of the owners describing this business as a "money making machine". So why was it sold? Why all the whining about the lost jobs? The way that I read into this is that the owners sold their "money making machine" and now are trying to save face with their former employees, while they are enjoying life with truck loads of cash. I don't get it. Why would anyone sell a "money making machine"? I wish that I had one. If I did, you can bet that I'd never sell it and complain afterwards.
8/7/2014 10:57:19 PM
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windigo says:
jonthunder, I have to say in the years I have been reading comments on this website, this one about GRK is probably the best. It is a letter of sanity
8/7/2014 10:07:11 PM
orca says:
Only Bombardier generates life changing revenue in this city.
8/7/2014 9:11:38 PM
Kam River says:
Interesting comment in a earlier story about this
"Mayor Keith Hobbs said it's never good news when people lose their job. But it's always a risk when major corporations are involved."
We need big corporation to create jobs in our community. They pay the good wages, like the paper mills, grain elevators, railways did.
Hobbs is just been around too long and every day is more and more negative.
8/7/2014 6:54:41 PM
TBDR says:
Big company moves Thunder Bay mainstay out of city... you blame the mayor for saying that's what they do... even though they did it. Award winning logic on here as always.
8/8/2014 1:44:07 PM
jonthunder says:
The USA company has now confirmed that it moved from here to the USA site for economic reasons i.e. competitiveness and viability/profitability. Thunder Bay, Ontario and Canada need to put their heads to work and find out how to make us more competitive in a very competitive world that will become increasingly more competitive. Or, places like Thunder Bay will become nothing more than a public services centre with no solid base for economic revenue generation and sustainability. It is time for us all to pitch-in and address the very serious challenges and reality we face. We ignore this challenge at our peril.
8/7/2014 1:57:45 PM
fastball says:
We are becoming a WalMart economy - namely the reality that companies now have the option to shut plants down and re-open them in areas where they can get away with lower labour or other costs.
Companies now face the reality of telling their employees that they will have to work for less - or not work at all.
The people in Mexico or Indochina, or even rural USA are happy to work under those conditions.
8/7/2014 3:41:16 PM
City In Decline says:
"...Or, places like Thunder Bay will become nothing more than a public services centre with no solid base for economic revenue generation and sustainability"

Based on what, jonthunder? This incident alone? How about showing your work with more valid (and direct) examples than simply basing such a sensationalized generalization on one local shop selling out to an American company. Oh the sky is falling in my crystal ball! I also like how you use a bunch of nonsensical word-salad and conjecture in an attempt to sound smart in a failed attempt to bolster your argument. Perhaps you should actually educate yourself in economics rather than regurgitating footnotes from the issue of Forbes you were reading in line at the grocery store. Your rhetoric is offensive.
8/7/2014 7:28:46 PM
Jammin3D says:
John Deere / NRE Locomotive / Heinz / Kidd Creek Processing / You have not disqualified jonthunder's points by merely pointing out his articulate ability to express his points. How about you provide some manufacturing numbers indicating growth in Ontario. You can't because Ontario has lost over 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 2 years. I suppose keeping your head firmly planted in the sand may help the current gutting of Ontario's manufacturing sector?
8/8/2014 10:11:27 AM
Royalflush says:
Way to agree with yourself. How long did that take hou?
8/8/2014 10:38:32 PM
moi says:
..."will become nothing more than a.."
It already has, jonthunder.
8/7/2014 8:09:09 PM
bubba says:
The world is getting flatter. GRK/ITW will soon be bought by X and moved to a location that "benefits their position in the market".
If they can make it cheaper elsewhere they will. It sucks for manufacturing employees, the companies don't care.
8/7/2014 8:17:19 PM
Nitesky says:
You are correct but how do you become competitive? We ship our raw materials in and we ship our finished products out. The cost of that alone is killing us
8/7/2014 10:19:46 PM
Eastender says:
We are a dictatorship disguised as a democratic country. We freely vote in our desired candidates, who promise that they willl dutifully and honestly do their best to look after our interests. Once the election is over, the dictators take over, the corporations, conglomerates, special interest groups cleverly place key elected personnel into their pockets. Yes you have free speach, but what is it good for when the media are owned by the wealthy, and the things that need to be heard are obscured by pap. The very underpinnings of our social values are being constantly eroded away. Safety on the job, decent and fair wages, health care, vacations with pay, pension plans, fair treatment by management, all the things that have been gained in the last hundred years, are now being disassembled by the greed of the conglomerates, who owe no allegiance to any government, country, or group of people. Why does this happen? Because we allow it to happen through our own myopic naivete.
8/9/2014 10:44:37 AM
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