OPSEU and NUPGE presidents to join Caterpillar picket line in London
LONDON, ON, Jan. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) President James Clancy, will join 465 picketing Canadian Auto Workers, who were locked out of the Electro-Motive (Caterpillar) plant on January 1st, 2012.
|Date:||Tuesday, January 10, 2011|
|Location:||2021 Oxford Street East, London|
"This lockout is not happening by accident," said Thomas. "Canadians need to ask why it's ok for a big US multinational company to waltz into this country, buy a company like Electro-Motive and demand that Ontario workers take a 50 per cent wage cut. At the same time, this company is opening similar plants in Mexico, Brazil and the US."
Thomas accuses the Harper Conservatives of allowing this situation to occur by blatantly ignoring the rules of the Investment Canada Act, and allowing another job-destroying foreign investment similar to with U.S. Steel, Vale-Inco and Xstrata.
"Harper had a lot of nerve in 2008 to use the Caterpillar plant to showcase massive corporate subsidies and tax cuts that directly benefited this company," Thomas said. "Now, after suffering a flesh-wound during the recession, Caterpillar's profits have tripled and it's outperforming the likes of Apple Incorporated."
Thomas urges all Ontario workers to draw a line, or else corporations and their political bedmates will use similar tactics to destroy the wages, dignity and dedication of working people in this province. "Some companies, like Caterpillar, use a sledge hammer," Thomas said. "Governments more often use a fist inside a silk glove by allowing American union-busting companies to profit on the backs of Canadian workers and their families."
Thomas will also appear at the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness Town Hall Forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the London Central Library to expose Ontario's McGuinty government for hiring private sector economist Don Drummond to recommend slashing public services while continuing to fund corporate tax breaks to companies like Caterpillar.
"The government kills public services while giving handouts to companies who then slash wages and benefits to increase their profits," Thomas said. "The people of Ontario need to stand up and not only say 'enough is enough,' but scream it from the rooftops. We must work together to derail this corporate cash train before it's too late."
For further information:
Ellen Long, OPSEU Communications 416-579-2544