Ventra / Pebra Plastics Cluster Project

 Ventra/Pebra Plastics Cluster Project

Pebra Plant

In 1981, a German plastic auto parts firm came to Canada and first located in a 22,000 square foot facility in Kitchener, Ontario. With production expanding, the company set up a second facility in Peterborough in 1986, purchasing a 200,000 sq. ft. metal clad structure, which was expanded in the late 1990s to accommodate its larger thermoplastic injection molding machines and production operations.

In 2004, Sonia Lal, industrial hygienist OHCOW, undertook a detailed retrospective exposure assessment of the production processes at Pebra Inc., (now the Ventra plant), between 1986 and 1996. This involved a systematic effort with the participation of UNIFOR Local 1987 Workers’ Advisory Exposure Committee to collect, document and analyze empirical information about how production was carried out in this complex plastics production operation. This work was undertaken to document the extent and nature of chemical and physical exposures that are possibly linked with the various cancers and other diseases that many employees and their families suffered over the years. Given the complexity of chemical exposures in plastics production processes,  the researchers relied upon qualitative research methods to profile exposures, retrospectively.



A Retrospective Exposure Profile of the Pebra Inc. Plastics Plant in Peterborough, Ontario

June 2020

Prepared by Dale DeMatteo, BA, MHSc and Robert DeMatteo, BA, MA, DOHS, Unifor Local 1987 and Local President, Mark Clapper, Past President, Rose Wickman... and more

2024 Update

What did we accomplish this year?

  • We mailed project update newsletters to workers and their families.
  • We continued to conduct health and work and exposure interviews with workers and their families.
  • We have conducted reproductive questionnaires with Women who have expressed that they have expressed reproductive health concerns.
  • We supported workers and their families to navigate the WSIB claims process, including assisting with the initial paperwork to file claims, completing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Intent to object Form (ITO) and actively collaborating with Unifor Local 1987 and The Office of The Worker Advisor(OWA)

What’s coming next?

  • We intent to carryout through worker outreach in 2024-2025 by conducting follow up calls and update letters to workers and their family members. The purpose is to update their health information and assess how we can offer additional support to the Pebra/Ventra Plastics workers and their families.
  • We will continue our ongoing work in the collection, compilation, and examination of the individual client files, medical and work and exposure history. We will further review client files and provide reports detailing the correlation between the workers work and exposure and the onset health issues.
  • We will continue to work with our Interdisciplinary team to review files and provide reports to the workers or estates legal representatives to submit to The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board(WSIB) on their behalf.
  • We held an information session in Peterborough on March 26th and provided the workers and their family members with an update on the project, introduced the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and provided information on how to file a claim with The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board(WSIB) if they have a illness that they believed may be related to their Occupational Exposures

We want to hear from you!

  • Did you or your family member work at Pebra/Ventra Plastics
  • Do you have concerns about the impact of your work on your health?
  • Please Contact our Occupational Health Coordinator, Jessica Montgomery at 1-613-218-7345 for further information or to register with us as part of our group of Ventra Plastics Project

For workers with reproductive health concerns:

Concerns have been raised about reproductive health issues among Ventra workers. Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Excessively painful periods
  • Excessive menstrual bleeding

If so, please reach out to the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to participate in our reproductive health survey.

We are investigating potential linkages to workplace duties or hazards.



Jessica Montgomery at 1-613-218-7345

OR: 1-877-817-0336


*Calls and inquiries are completely confidential

Attention Ventra Plastics Workers, Members of Unifor Local 1987

Are you suffering from an illness or injury that you suspect may be related to work?

Our Free Services:

  • Anonymous inquiry services to answer personal work-related health & safety questions.
  • Research services to investigate and report on emerging illnesses/injuries.
  • Medical diagnostic services for workers who may have work-related health problems.
  • Consultation services for workplace health and safety committees or worker groups.
  • Outreach and education to increase awareness of health and safety issues and to promote prevention strategies.

Information Sessions

Given the rate of research, OHCOW strives to keep stakeholders, especially workers and their families, updated as to the progress and the implications for recognition and compensation. Since 2020, public information sessions have been held virtually to inform workers and their families about the state of research and to provide information on compensation claims with the WSIB.  The last information sessions were held in March of 2023 and 2024.



Information Session for Pebra/Ventra Workers

March 8, 2023

Hosted by: Sarah Rhodes, with presenters David Wilken, Jessica Montgomery, Andrew Zarnke, David Boyce and Paul Sampara.