“The decision announced today that U.S. Caterpillar Corporation will close its Electro-Motive plant in London instead of negotiating with the Canadian Autoworkers Union requires an immediate response from the Canadian and Ontario governments.” That statement from Dave Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP).
“This decision is a slap in the face to Canada which gave Electro-Motive tax breaks to protect jobs,” continues Coles.
“It’s an act of corporate aggression against Canada and we should retaliate with an immediate tariff against Caterpillar products imported to Canada. The Ontario and federal governments should take the same action in this situation as former Premier Danny Williams did at AbiitiBowater in Newfoundland -- they should seize the Caterpillar assets in London and ensure that all community and worker obligations are fully met.
“Why do we have governments, if not to protect Canadians against this kind of corporate agression?
“There will be a strong labour response to Caterpillar's aggression against Canada. CEP is prepared to throw its full support behind any actions that the CAW and central labour bodies take to achieve justice for these workers,” concludes Coles.
CEP is the largest union in several key sectors of the Canadian economy, including forestry, energy, communications and media.