Frank Van Damme clutched a custom license plate with the name Roadtrek spelled out in capital letters.
As reported by The Record, it’s a souvenir now, a memento of a 35-year career at the recreational vehicle manufacturer, more recently known as Erwin Hymer Group North America.
“Roadtrek is a big name out there,” said Van Damme, who gathered with about 200 former colleagues Tuesday (Feb. 19) morning in front of the company’s Cambridge headquarters. “They want to do nothing but work.”
Holding handwritten signs reading “Betrayed” and “Save our company,” the workers stood in the snow in front of the plant that had, for many, been their workplace until Friday.
That’s when the news came down that the business had been placed in receivership, with an estimated 850 employees at facilities in Cambridge and Kitchener terminated. They were not represented by a union.
“It’s a shock,” Van Damme said. “It’s not warranted. It’s not fair.”
Problems arose in January with a round of layoffs and the suspension and possible firing of senior managers. German parent company Erwin Hymer Group announced an investigation was being launched into financial “irregularities,” and the North American operations were excluded from a multibillion dollar acquisition of Erwin Hymer Group by U.S.-based Thor Industries.
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