It is disturbing to see Diversified Metal Engineering be put into receivership. At this stage it is unclear what has caused this and what is happening to handle the situation.
DME has appeared to be a poster industry for Prince Edward Island: innovative, light manufacturing with a small carbon footprint; a smartly chosen niche market, with a reach which literally goes around the world. It has been a real success, and an important strand in our Island’s economic development. This enterprise should have a healthy future.
Disturbing as it is that the company should stumble, our stronger concern now is for the 140 employees and for other workers who may be affected by connection with DME.
Our hope, naturally, is that the business can be given fresh life so that people can get back to work quickly. But through whatever legal and commercial intricacies there may be in the process of receivership, we want to see workers treated with fairness and dignity — in recognition of their contribution of skills, energies and loyalty to making the company grow as a source of wealth for the owners and for the province.
Let us ensure that it is the workers who are first in consideration as settlement arrangements get made. As we’ve seen when other corporations have failed and cut their losses, it is the workers who are often most vulnerable.
In this case, though, we see that the public purse is also vulnerable. It is sensible that the Province consider how to aid the business, which is an asset for PEI. Our point is that this should not happen behind closed doors. This is a matter of the employees’ interest, but also of the public interest. Let us work quickly to see DME sustained, and do so in a responsibly transparent way.