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Erwin Hymer employees afraid for their jobs

Little to no communication about this week's layoffs have left workers scared: employee
Photo by Ben Eppel//Kitchener Today

There's been little to no communication to employees about layoffs that happened this week at Erwin Hymer plants here in the Region.

The only indication given is the layoff letter itself, which indicates an "unexpected economic downturn."

A copy of the letter was provided by William Singleton, a lead hand for the SRT line at the Recreational Vehicle (RV) manufacturing company.

He says that the company hasn't told employees much of anything, and that the only word of what's happening is from other employees.

"People have watched their CEO get walked out," says Singleton. "Our company's going through an audit, our accounts are frozen, people are getting laid off; yet there's no answers, no comments, no nothing."

Singleton says that he knew around 13 of the people who were laid off at his plant, one of whom he was very close with.

"She was just past her three months [probation] and they let her go," he says. "She's an elderly now, you know, she thought she was going to be here for the rest of her life, retire at this place with us and make a family here. Now she just lost everything in the blink of an eye and she doesn't know why."

Singleton says that the company is currently being audited while it is being considered for purchase by Thor Industries.

He shared an email with 570 NEWS that shows that, because of this, the company is allegedly withholding vacation pay from current employees.

"I called the Ministry of Labour, and apparently according to the standards act, they still have to pay out any vacation pay during an audit," says Singleton. "I'm kind of confused."

In addition to this, Singleton claims that the company has cancelled its education programs.

He was enrolled in a propane certification course through the company, but has now been told that they are cancelling it.

Singleton says that no new vans are coming into the building for them to work on, leaving employees with little to do but wonder about the future.

"The place is like a graveyard right now, we really don't know what's going on," he says. "Everyone's scared and thinking they're going to lose their jobs, and looking for new ones. I think the main thing that's scaring everyone is that not one thing has been said."

Singleton says that employees are frustrated and already looking for work elsewhere.

He adds that the worst part about it is the lack of communication.

"This is supposed to be a company that's growing, expanding and opening job and career opportunities for hundreds, that's what they strive off of," says Singleton. "Now they're doing a mass-layoff out of nowhere after just hiring all these people."

570 NEWS reached out to Erwin Hymer on Wednesday regarding the layoffs, and were told, "No comment."

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