Demonstration in front of Caisse de dépôt et placement (CDP) building - Need to develop employment within Quebec



    MONTREAL, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Steelworkers at the Cari-All plant are
currently holding a demonstration in front of the Caisse de dépôt et placement
(CDP) building, protesting the transfer of production to the U.S. and the
Quebec-based institution's refusal to explain this decision. "Something's gone
wrong here in Quebec. In the wake of the Quiet Revolution, we equipped
ourselves with various tools for collective development, such as the Caisse de
dépôt et placement. The government's decision to give the CDP a new mandate -
where output at any cost takes precedence over Quebec's national interests, of
which employment is an essential component - is not right. Our own collective
development tools are being used against us. A change in direction is needed,"
declared Daniel Roy, Quebec Director of the Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ).
    "Quebec businesses will now be receiving grocery carts from a
Quebec-based supplier that runs its production operation from the United
States. We make 90% of all grocery carts in Canada. The company is refusing to
make its books available to us. Transferring Cari-All's production to the
U.S., barely two years after this company was acquired by the Caisse de dépôt
et placement and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS),
obviously cannot be justified in light of this Quebec-based institution's
historic mandate and the social underpinnings on which OMERS was founded.
We're still not looking to move to the U.S. to earn a living - even more so
since this is not a lame-duck business, but one that was founded in this
province and that has posted growth here over the past 40 years," continued
Pierre Arseneau, union staffer for the Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ).
    "The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec belongs to us. We will not
allow a financial institution created by and for Quebecers to move our factory
and our jobs to the U.S. The CDP must be transparent and open, in order to
save 400 good jobs in a profitable sector. We have also taken steps to meet
with OMERS' senior management. Their intervention is essential to ensuring the
return of this plant to Quebec, since this Ontario-based organization owns the
same number of shares in the company as does the Caisse de dépôt et
placement," explained Daniel Sylvestre, head of Amalgamated Local 7625 of the
Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ).
    "Before this surprise decision to move production was made, the union and
Cari-All's senior management were discussing concrete easy-to-accomplish steps
that could increase profits at the Montreal East facility. Discussions had
progressed significantly. The plant was already profitable. In November 2007,
senior management at Cari-All believed that the solution was to repatriate
part of the production from Technibilt, the company's U.S. subsidiary,
bringing it back to the Montreal East plant. Now, even helping find a solution
to continue making grocery carts and racks in Quebec is out of the question,"
concluded Yves Primiano, head of the Local unit at Cari-All.

    Cari-All is a grocery cart manufacturer based in Montreal East.
Production from this plant is being transferred to Newton in the
United States.




For further information:

For further information: Daniel Roy, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ),
(514) 850-2240; Pierre Arseneau, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), (514)
599-2006; Daniel Sylvestre, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), Amalgamated Local
7625, (514) 525-7625; Yves Primiano, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ),
Amalgamated Local 7625, (514) 640-0999, extension 3229


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