12 March 2013
Vertis protestors, Quad/graphics in court
FORT ERIE, ON—Lawyers representing Quad/Graphics appeared in court last week with lawyers representing laid-off Vertis Communication workers, to address labour issues surrounding the shutdown of a Vertis plant.


Vertis Communications, in Fort Erie's Stevensville community, shut down in January

Quad/Graphics acquired most of Vertis Communications' assets last year but a plant in Fort Erie, Vertis' only Canadian location, was one of four locations left out of the transaction, resulting in its January closure. Citing termination without severance pay, former employees have been picketing outside of the plant since its closing.

According to a Niagara Falls Review report, lawyer Lorenzo Lisi filed an injunction motion on behalf of Quad/Graphics, saying that workers don't have the right to block trucks from entering or exiting the property. The plant's equipment is now owned by Quad/Graphics, and the company is attempting to move it out.

The paper reports that lawyer Denis Ellickson, representing the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, said that since Vertis has stated it has no money, picketers don't want the plant's assets removed until the approximately 100 laid-off workers are paid the $2.7 million they say is owed.

Justice Robert Nightingale said the workers can picket, "but the law doesn't give them more rights than that." In the meantime, the lawyers are working to establish a protocol for picketing, said the report.
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