Continuing the Fight Back after Electro-Motive

April 14, 2012, 10:00 AM EST


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CAW Council delegates are calling for major government policy changes in the wake of the closure of the Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London, Ontario.

Delegates from the Electro-Motive plant thanked CAW members, locals and community activists for supporting them during the company's lock out of workers and the closure.

Todd Sleeper, who worked 23 years at Electro-Motive, said the picket line support and community support of the workers in London made a huge difference.

"We had great public support," Sleeper said during an emotional address.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said the local and the community came together during the Electro-Motive fightback. He urged delegates to fight back against the anti-worker agenda of the corporations and the Harper government.

"The corporations have the government on their side.these guys are working together. We've got a Harper government that wants to turn the clock back by 50 years," Lewenza said.

Delegates unanimously approved a recommendation with demands for four major policy changes to prevent another Electro-Motive closure. These changes are:

- reform the Investment Canada Act to prevent foreign giants from taking over and then shutting down Canadian operations;

- reform Canadian trade policies so that companies like Caterpillar must pay a penalty if they eliminate Canadian jobs;

- reform the tax system, forcing companies like Caterpillar to pay back the tax assistance they received from government, if the eliminate Canadian jobs;

- reform labour laws to give workers more protection at the bargaining table against lockouts and plant closures.

CAW Local 27 President Tim Carrie urged delegates to continue the fight against corporate greed by actively supporting the four major policy demands.

"The fight is not over.families are depending on us, the workers at Electro-Motive are depending on us.we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Carrie.

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