Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not to Be Missed

The Register-Star reported today that Holcim, once known as St. Lawrence Cement, has laid off seventy workers at its Catskill plant--the one that was supposed to be replaced by the gargantuan new plant once proposed for Greenport: "Holcim to temporarily cut 70 positions." What if we had that huge pollution-belching plant in our backyard and still no jobs?

The image--a yard sign from the successful battle against SLC--is from the archives of the Friends of Hudson website.


  1. I painted that sign on the floor of Christopher Haun and Rainer Judd's house c. 2004, and it was posted near the top of Rossmsn Avenue until the end of the fight in 2005. (The black paint turned out to have some oil in it, which reacted with the acrylic in various murky ways that were kind of appropriate to the image of the plant and plume.)

    One irony in this news of layoffs -- and those who opposed the plant never had a problem with 95% of their workers -- is that SLC/Holcim claimed that their business was "recession-proof."

    But in fact the cement industry is especially vulnerable to statewide and national trends, as it tracks so closely with new construction. Unlike the old days in Hudson, these plants need only dozens of workers, not thousands as in the 1950s. Those days are simply gone, due to both mechanization and outsourcing... though some still harbor fantasies of turning back the hands of a clock that only runs in one direction.

    And their foreign owners have little conscience about laying people off in slow times.

  2. So they are laying off 70 people now, in May 2009 they laid off 35 people, and two months before that, 26 - for a total of 131 in the last 20 months. How many are left working one wonders.