Employers in the manufacturing sector continue to face considerable economic and competitive challenges such that some are looking to reinvent their operations through investing in technology and seeking a more agile and responsive workforce.
This includes the use of alternative employment models, with some operations relocating to offsite locations or being outsourced to other service providers. Skills development has also become more critical as the sector changes, with a need to “train and retain” highly-skilled employees.
To improve competitiveness, we’ve helped companies streamline their processes and assisted them in developing more cooperative relationships with unions and employees. Where changes have sometimes resulted in a need to restructure, downsize or cease operations entirely, we have brought our depth of experience in the human resources area to guide employers through these difficult times.
And of course, we can help not just with the unique challenges of this sector, but with advising on the day-to-day operations of your business.
We act for many clients in the industry, including the following sub-areas:
- Iron and steel
- Food, beverage and drug
- Automotive and aerospace parts and assembly
- Electronic and electrical equipment
- Forestry and paper
- Machinery and printing
We provide a far reaching and extensive range of labour and employment services for clients of all sizes and for both federal and provincial employers. Our breadth of expertise includes:
- managing workplace change – from restructuring hours of work to consolidating operations
- providing labour relations advice and representation, including collective agreement negotiation, handling issues related to wages, benefits, vacation thresholds, severance arrangements and strikes and lockouts
- ensuring regulatory compliance when establishing new facilities
- negotiating fundamental changes to pension, benefits and executive compensation plan designs and designing and implementation of early retirement incentive plans
- developing and monitoring occupational health and safety policies as well as advising on investigations and inquests into workplace injuries and fatalities
- managing human rights and accommodation issues including accommodation of injured workers, attendance management and drug and alcohol testing
We also work on a macro level with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Toronto Board of Trade, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and many industry groups to influence the political agenda to help create an environment that encourages growth in the manufacturing sector and keep our clients abreast of any new workplace legislation through our various publications and events.
We appear before administrative tribunals on matters such as human rights, occupational health and safety, rights and interest arbitrations, labour board issues and workers’ compensation. We also act on behalf of clients at all levels of court, including wrongful dismissal and complex pension and compensation matters.
In short, we know this industry – and our clients recognize and value the level of service we deliver: Hicks Morley was ranked by clients in the top 15% of law firms in the Manufacturing industry, in the BTI Power Rankings 2016: The Law Firms with the Best Client Relationships.