Former Goodwill staff protest closings

Union asking government for solutions to 'crisis' faced by workers

Ex-employees of the 16 Goodwill locations that were suddenly closed this week are protesting the decision.

Some of the 450 workers laid off are calling for the resignation of Keiko Nakamura, CEO of Goodwill Industries, criticizing the lack of communication between parties.

Nakamura justified the decision to shut down in a press conference last week, saying, “In order to ensure that we were not asking staff to work at a time when we didn’t feel we would be able to cover their costs, we had to close down the stores.”

The Canadian Airport Workers Union (CAWU), which covers all Goodwill employees, said it was “appealing to all government and community stakeholders to find a solution to the present crisis faced by all workers.”

In a letter to Premier Wynne’s office asking her to immediately intervene, CAWU vice-president Artan Milaj said Goodwill has “become an institution and much needed resource in our communities.”

Nakamura was formerly CEO of Toronto’s Community Housing Corp before being fired in 2011 after an organizational spending scandal, calling some to question her leadership skills.

The CAWU says it has put investors in contact with Goodwill and encouraged Goodwill to consider relinquishing control to new investors.

However, when asked if she would consider stepping down, Nakamura replied, “Clear instructions from the board of directors [were given] to move forward.”