March 22, 2018

LOOKING BACK – Strike at Graham Fibre Glass

From the Advocate – 35 years ago (1983)
Graham Fibre Glass workers on strike
Graham Fibre Glass, Erin’s largest employer, has been quiet since March 17 when 71 production workers walked off the job. The members of Local 271 of the International Aluminum, Brick and Glassworkers had been working without a contract since Jan. 11. Their average wage is $8.33 an hour. Local president Bob Anderson said the main issues are wages and benefits. General manager Ian Graham said the company was completely surprised by the strike and breakdown of negotiations. “Money didn’t seem to be the issue,” he said.
Caledon residents want farmland preserved
A survey by Caledon Ward One Councillor shows strong support for the preservation of agricultural lands, low growth, control of gravel pits and a plebiscite on regional government. John Alexander got responses from over 300 residents in the western part of the town, including Belfountain, Alton and Caledon Village. More than two thirds supported policies of low residential and commercial/industrial growth. Most also favoured maintaining the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and most said urban services such as street lighting, curbs and road paving are not needed.
From the Advocate – 25 years ago (1993)
Village to keep up with the times
Residents learned about Erin’s plan to keep abreast of changing economic and social trends, at a public meeting to discuss a background report on the Village Official Plan. Deputy Reeve Carolann Osborne was pleased with the high turnout. Updating the plan will cost about $10,840 according to Wellington County Senior Planner Aldo Salis.
The report said the village population has had slow growth, from 2,315 in 1981 to 2,489 in 1993. The average household size is 2.9. The schools have portables, and new schools may be needed to handle future growth, but growth is currently restrained by lack of municipal sewage treatment. The municipal landfill site will reach capacity in 1995.
No extra policing for Erin
Reeve Terry Mundell is continuing to press for a greater police presence in the village, but Wellington OPP Inspector Walter Trachsel told village council that current coverage is adequate. “Someone who lives in a small town can’t expect the same level of policing they would get in an urban area, because they are not paying the high taxes,” he said. While the OPP has had gradual improvements in staffing and efficiency, the village has lobbied the provincial government for more police funding. 
Mundell has been investigating the cost of Erin hiring its own police officers. Trachsel said residents and store owners must be more proactive in preventing crime. There are plans to revive the Community Oriented Policing group, and the Business Improvement Area has started a reward program to help solve petty crimes in the area. 
From the Advocate – 20 years ago (1998)
$40,000 pledged for youth centre
The 60-member audience at a public meeting on the new Erin Multi-use facility applauded as Everett Roberts, Director of Youth Activities for the Erin Optimist Club, pledged $40,000 towards a youth centre in the facility. The meeting included a presentation on options from the project management firm C.A. Ventin, and was a chance for councillors to assess public support for town involvement. 
Councillors Rod Finnie, Ken Chapman and Culver Riley want the town to be involved, but Mayor Barb Tocher and Councillor George Root have expressed serious reservations. Tocher said she was concerned about taking on debt, while Dave Dautovich, head of the high school council, responded by saying “elected members have to show leadership”. 
Other possible partners expressing interest in the centre include the Rotary Club, the Tennis Club, Erin Hoops, Erin Little Theatre, Sue’s Moves, Dr. Walcott and Dr. Mathieson. Irene Smedley said EWAG would like to establish a seniors’ centre.