Halton Labour Leaders Challenge Minister Raitt to Take Action on Caterpillar Closure

February 9, 2012, 2:05 PM EST

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Labour leaders in the Halton Region welcomed the chance to meet with Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt on February 3 and urged the Minister to take action to support workers at Electro-Motive in London in the wake of the announced plant closure.

"The Minister made it clear to us that while she sympathizes with the workers who've lost their jobs in London, her hands as federal labour minister are tied, which is not the answer we wanted to hear," said Oakville and District Labour Council President Dave Millar. "We need Minister Raitt to send a strong message that this kind of corporate cut-and-run behaviour can't be accepted. We will keep pressing her on this. We need all levels of government speaking out on this."

The meeting held between Halton Region labour leaders and the Minister was part of the government's pre-budget consultation process. The meeting included representatives of the CAW as well as the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Canadian Labour Congress.

CAW Local 707 President Gary Beck said that the issues of retirement security (including the protection of Old Age Security) and job creation were front and centre.

"We told the Minister that creating good, quality jobs must be a top priority in the upcoming budget," Beck said. "We feel that the government's current program of tax cuts and service cuts won't help build the economy we need."

Minister Raitt is the MP for Halton. The meeting was organized through the Oakville District Labour Council.

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