By David F. Rooney
Nineteen people have found themselves jobless as a result of a “very difficult decision” by the Ice River Springs Water Company Inc. to close its Revelstoke plant.
Operations at the plant, which produced bottled water for a number of customers in Western Canada, ended on Thursday. Some of the workers whose jobs are now gone had been laid off earlier in the year, said a statement from the Feversham, Ont., company.
The move shocked the company’s employees.
“It came as a complete shock,” said Garry Resvick. “We were completely blind-sided.”
He said Ryan L’Abbe, Ice River Springs’ vice-president for Human resources, called the employees together and told them their jobs were toast.
“It was made pretty clear that they wanted us out of there by 4 o’clock,” Resvick said.
The company has given at least some workers the option of moving to its Calgary facility but Resvick didn’t know if anyone would accept the offer. As for himself,he isn’t sure what he’ll do.
“I’m 64, maybe I’ll just put my feet up,” he said.
Ice River Springs purchased the plant located west of Revelstoke on Jumping Creek Road from Cott Beverages in early 2008.
“Determining that we needed to close the Revelstoke Plant was a very difficult decision”, said Jamie Gott — co-owner and president of Ice River Springs, “but the decision was necessary. Our decision was made based on the increasing cost-competitiveness demanded by our customers.”
Ice River will be moving equipment from the plant to other sister facilities where it will be needed to support ongoing production. Ice River Springs will reduce overall production and transportation costs as a result of this decision.
The company bills itself as a” leading producer of private-label water products.” It operates eight production facilities elsewhere in North America. More information about Ice River Springs can be found at www.iceriversprings.com.