Orion Bus Closure Caused by Government Inaction on Public Transit, says CAW President

April 25, 2012, 11:25 AM EST

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The closure of Orion Bus in Mississauga has been unnecessarily caused by the chronic underfunding of public transit right across Canada, said CAW President Ken Lewenza. Lewenza is responding to the announcement today by Daimler that it will end production at Orion Bus, throwing hundreds out of work.

"For years, successive federal, provincial and municipal governments have failed to live up to the needs of Canadians for affordable, accessible public transit and adequately invest in infrastructure," said Lewenza.

"And as we see today, the implications are disastrous for our communities who are poorly served and workers who lose their jobs because of government inaction. This lack of foresight on public transit and government procurement contracts is having the effect of hollowing out our industrial base," said Lewenza.

When governments prioritize the local procurement of goods and services, particularly for transit investments, communities thrive with jobs. When this doesn't happen, communities feel the brunt of poor decisions through job loss and a dwindling tax base, said Lewenza.

Lewenza said that he is concerned that the plant could be closed immediately, despite assurances by the company to wind down production over the next 12 months. Lewenza voiced concern that Orion may be planning to move remaining work to its facility in Oriskany, New York and pledged that the union will be watching the situation closely.

CAW Local 2011 represents nearly 200 active workers at Orion and another 200 on layoff.

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