CAW Questions Government Claims Regarding Electro Motive Assets, Calls for Full Disclosure of Sale

January 5, 2012, 3:32 PM EST


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The CAW is questioning federal government claims that London, Ontario locomotive maker Electro-Motive's assets were below the Investment Canada Act threshold for government review.

CAW President Ken Lewenza was responding to media reports today that a federal Industry Minister spokesman said the value of the company's assets were below the $299 million threshold when it was sold.

"There is no oversight and no transparency in this whole process," Lewenza said. "Caterpillar declared a gain of $1.3 billion in assets on its books following the takeover of EMC. The federal government now says that the takeover did not meet the threshold of $299 million for a full review, or to seek legally-binding commitments to Canada." 
 
"In a $1.3 billion deal, how can the Harper government seriously believe that not even a quarter of those assets are in Canada?" Lewenza asked.

"London is the largest manufacturing plant in the company, and at the time of the takeover had nearly half the company's employees. The Harper government gave this sale a rubber stamp paving the way for this disaster," Lewenza said. "This is a disservice to Canadians."
 
Lewenza is now asking the Harper government to disclose the value of assets in London declared by Caterpillar and is asking what steps did the federal government take to ensure the validity of the information provided by Caterpillar?

"Will the federal government use its powers under the Investment Canada Act to review this obviously faulty decision to head off this job-destroying disaster?" Lewenza asked.

He also blasted a statement by the federal government spokesperson in the media today that the federal government won't get involved in the lock-out of Electro-Motive workers because it is a dispute between a private company and the union.

"The federal government certainly had no problem interfering in bargaining between Air Canada and the CAW last year," Lewenza said.

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