TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) today pledged its full support to the Canadian Auto Workers and CAW members locked out by Caterpillar Inc. in London.
"Caterpillar has deliberately created an unwarranted conflict with its demands for unprecedented wage, pension and benefit cuts," USW Canadian Director Ken Neumann stated in a letter of support to the CAW and its locked-out members.
"Steelworkers will stand shoulder to shoulder with you on the picket line, before governments, and wherever this struggle for justice takes us," Neumann said.
"Steelworkers are no strangers to ruthless attacks on Canadian working and living standards by massive foreign corporations," Neumann noted. "Thousands of our members, their families and their communities have faced such aggression from the likes of Vale, U.S. Steel and most recently Rio Tinto."
On New Year's Day - the same day that Caterpillar locked out CAW members in London - 800 Steelworkers at an aluminum smelter in Alma, Quebec, were locked out by Rio Tinto Alcan.
"CAW and USW members are tangibly connected at the forefront of the battle against corporate greed and the betrayal of Canadian working families by right-wing government in our country," Neumann said.
The Steelworkers also strongly support the CAW's demand that Stephen Harper's Conservative government publicly account for its rubber-stamping of the sale of London's Electro-Motive Diesel operations to Caterpillar.
"The Harper government has a duty to Canadians to disclose the steps it took to ensure this foreign takeover would provide the required 'net benefit' to our country," Neumann said.
"The government also must use its powers under the Investment Canada Act to review this takeover and take all necessary measures to defend the interests of Canadian working families."
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5950;
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, 416-544-5966,