Caterpillar Picketed Today in a Dozen Canadian Cities
January 26, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
The union representing locked-out locomotive workers in London, Ontario, Canada is bringing its call for fairness directly to Caterpillar customers. At dealerships and service centres in a dozen cities across the country, Caterpillar customers are being greeted this morning by information pickets, who are asking customers to tell the company they want fairness for these locked-out workers.
The national pickets are timed to coincide with the announcement of the company's year-end earnings, scheduled for release this morning.
After demanding that wages and benefits be cut in half, Caterpillar locked out nearly 500 workers on New Year's Day. The workers are members of CAW Local 27.
"This is greedy, and frankly immoral, behaviour coming from a profitable corporation," said Ken Lewenza, CAW National President. "At a time when inequality is rapidly growing it's vital that we take a stand with this company," he added.
The information pickets are taking place this morning in: St. John's, Newfoundland; Darthmouth, Nova Scotia, Montreal, Quebec; Chicoutimi, Quebec; Concord, Ontario; London, Ontario, Windsor, Ontario; St. Catharines, Ontario; Sudbury, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Edmonton, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia.
Caterpillar's demand to cut pay in half came despite record profits and surging executive pay. Company CEO Doug Oberhelman's latest annual pay packet was worth $10.5 million, twice what he received the year before.
The Canadian locomotive workers are highly productive and have delivered top-level quality and solid profits throughout 60 years of operation. "Company claims that the workforce is too expensive simply don't add up," Lewenza notes. The highly-skilled welders and production technicians in London, Ontario earn wages entirely in-line with those at the industry-leading firm, General Electric, which builds locomotives in Erie, Pennsylvania.
"This is all about greed," says Bob Scott, union plant chair at Electro-Motive. "How are workers supposed to go back to earning wages last paid nearly 25 years ago, while the company is richer than ever?"
Canada is an important source of revenue for Caterpillar, particularly in the booming mining and oil sectors. The union remains determined to win fair treatment for these workers as support for their plight continues to grow, and opposition to the company's behaviour mounts.
The CAW's campaign to support the locked-out workers is widening, including the launch of radio ads this morning in several communities.
For more information, please contact: CAW Communications John McClyment (cell) 416-315-3202 or Angelo DiCaro (cell) 416-606-6311
Read the leaflet to Caterpillar customers here: http://www.caw.ca/en/10884.htm
Find out more at: http://www.caw.ca/en/10835.htm
The CAW is bringing its message to Caterpillar customers this morning in:
Chicoutimi, QC 1466 Bersimis Street 8:00 am Denis Lepage: 418-720-1323
Concord, ON 3131 Highway 7 West 8:00 am Jenny Ahn: 416-271-3489
Dartmouth, NS 175 Akerley Boulevard, Dartmouth 9:00 am Les Holloway: 902-497-2909
Edmonton, AB 10920 - 170th Street 8:00 am Todd Romanow: 780-932-4033
London, ON 50 Enterprise Drive 8:00 am Bob Scott: 226-377-4266
Montreal, QC 5001 Trans Canada Hwy, Pointe Claire 8:00 am Sylvain Martin: 514-318-2844
St. Catharines, ON 5 Neilson Street 8:00 am Doug Orr: 905-650-5977
St. John's, NL 82 Kenmount Road 9:30 am Wayne Butler: 709-770-3467
Sudbury, ON 25 Mumford Road, Lively 8:00 am Tom Dattilo: 905-330-9232
Vancouver, BC 19498 - 92 Avenue, Surrey 8:00 am Susan Spratt: 604-657-4303
Windsor, ON 3740 Webster Street 8:00 am Rick Laporte: 519-984-3102
Winnipeg, MB 140 Inksbrook Drive 8:00 am Tom Murphy: 204-230-0747