For the last few workers at this city’s Abbott Laboratories plant, today marks the last day of a slow winding down of the facility more than three years after the company announced its closure. “We knew this day was coming, but it’s still difficult at this time of year with the holidays just starting,” said Harry Ghadban, national representative for Unifor Local 462, which represents workers at the plant. When officials from Abbott’s Chicago headquarters visited the Brockville plant in September 2010 to announce the closure, 157 people worked at the facility making Ensure nutritional supplements and Similac baby formula.
Layoffs were phased in over the years since, with only about 29 employees remaining on the last day, Ghadban said. The factory was originally scheduled to close in the fall of 2012, but remained open another year due to increased short-term demand for the facility’s products. Unifor members at the plant worked mostly on the manufacturing floor as process operators, label operators, filler operators, on the can line, as shift cleaners and in other positions.