Federal budget an opportunity to do the right thing say Steelworkers

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - The national head of Canada's largest industrial
union says Tuesday's budget should be an opportunity to correct the
devastation in manufacturing and forestry, as well as to take action to
prevent the economy from falling into recession.
    Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director and International Officer of the
United Steelworkers (USW) said Monday the government has a responsibility to
"intervene promptly to improve the prospect for prosperity for hundreds of
communities and working families.
    "The impact since the last federal budget has been painful in the extreme
for hundreds of thousands of Canadians cast aside by the crisis in
manufacturing and forestry," Neumann said. "This is no time to pretend things
are rosy."
    Neumann said Canada needs a comprehensive program combining aggressive
infrastructure spending, targeted support for private investment and
buy-Canadian procurement measures. Initiatives should also ensure that
reductions in greenhouse emissions are tied to the creation of new
manufacturing and service jobs in emerging environmental technologies.
    Neumann added that funding for these measures should come from retracting
announced corporate tax cuts. Not implementing the cuts would free up a
projected $14.8-billion per year by 2012.
    "Smart policies would combine economic stimulus, the rebuilding of our
manufacturing sector and leadership in the climate change fight," Neumann
said. "If the Harper government refuses to deliver that leadership, then we
should elect a government that will."

    The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than
280,000 men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy.

For further information:

For further information: Ken Neumann, (416) 558-2510; Charles Campbell
(USW Research), (647) 233-1368

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