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Ottawa, January 20, 2012 – Canada’s largest union is standing in support of the 465 members of Canadian Auto Workers local 27, currently locked-out by Caterpillar from the Electro-Motive plant in London, ON. Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, including national president Paul Moist and CUPE Ontario division president Fred Hahn, will join other labour and community supporters at a mass day of action in London on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

“It is simply outrageous for Caterpillar to demand these workers give up their pension plan and take a 50 percent cut in pay and benefits, while paying their shareholders record dividends for 17 years straight,” said Moist.

On behalf of more than 615,000 CUPE members, Moist will be donating $10,000 to CAW local 27, who’ve been locked out since January 1, 2012.

“These workers are just the latest to be sacrificed by the Harper Conservative government in the name of free trade and corporate interests,” said Moist.

Electo-Motive Canada was purchased by Caterpillar in 2010, a foreign company based in the United States. Moist is demanding the Harper Conservative government restart a review of the Canada Investment Act – which was supposed to clarify foreign ownership issues rising from the scuttled takeover of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan.

Governments and corporations have created job insecurity across the private and public sector. Such instability forces workers to accept low wages and dangerous working conditions. And it is an agenda funded by tax dollars.

“The McGuinty government gave billions of dollars to corporations in the form of corporate tax cuts, and told us the money would create jobs. The handouts didn’t create jobs here, they’re not creating jobs in other cities, they’re not helping. What they are doing is creating a deficit that the province will use as an excuse to hand out pink slips,” said Hahn, who was born and raised in London. “We need a Premier and a Prime Minister who will stand up to corporate bullies like Caterpillar. Leaders who will stand up for regular, working people.”

CUPE members in London have been supporting workers at the Electro-Motive plant since they were locked out at the beginning of the year.

“These manufacturing jobs are important to our local economy. I can’t believe the government gave the company so many of our tax dollars and is now standing back and letting Caterpillar take advantage of the workers,” said Judith Callahan, president of the CUPE London & District Council. “Enough is enough!”

CUPE members from across Ontario will join the mass day of action on Saturday. The rally will start at 11am ET, in Victoria Park, 509 Clarence Street, London, ON.


For more information:

Greg Taylor

CUPE Media Relations

613 818-0067

Craig Saunders

CUPE Ontario Media Relations

416 576-7316