CAW Protests Feds Letting Xstrata Lay Off 686 Workers

February 20, 2009


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CAW Protests Feds Letting Xstrata Lay Off 686 Workers
CAW Protests Feds Letting Xstrata Lay Off 686 Workers
dated February 20, 2009

Huntsville, Ontario
February 20, 2009

       Bus loads of laid off CAW members from the Xstrata mine in Sudbury arrived at the Huntsville office of federal Industry Minister Tony Clement February 20th. They blamed the government for letting Xstrata lay off workers, six months before the job guarantee by the company expired. CAW Local 598 President Dwight Harper presented demands to Clement's staff.


Dwight Harper
Pres. CAW Local 598

       "Those demands include meeting face to face with Mr. Clement so he can explain to us exactly how he can condone the loss of 686 jobs in Sudbury. We're then going to take our fight to Ottawa to make sure that everybody in this country knows what Investment Canada is all about."


       Canadian Auto Workers union President Ken Lewenza said Clement and the Harper government are responsible for the layoffs.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "Mr. Clement, this is a group of 500 people that are here today, that lost their jobs as a result of your decision. You gave Xstrata permission to lay off workers so you must take responsibility for your actions and the first thing you should do is commit to pay the workers in full until the conclusion of the three year agreement at bare minimum. And then you should tell Xstrata that as far as we're concerned you broke the agreement and put our natural resources back into the hands of Canadians."


       The workers and the community have been devastated by the lay offs. Ian Adams was laid off after 10 years, Scott Rogers barely held onto his job and CAW activist Linda Bessair of Local 1411 in Sudbury is seeing her community ravaged by uncertainty.

Ian Adams
CAW Local 598

       "You look around when you are walking into work and they are giving people layoff slips and you see tears in full grown men's eyes. That to me is not a beautiful picture."

Scott Rogers
CAW Local 598

       "I made it but I am only, when you look at the whole thing I am tenth from the bottom now with 13 years. That is pretty scary."


Linda Bessair
CAW Local 1411

       "You put your whole life into a community and it can just up and disappear and there are your hopes and dreams and your history and everything is gone. Where's our livelihood? What do we do now? The uncertainty is the scariest part."


Dwight Harper
Pres. CAW Local 598

       "The climate in Sudbury right now is awful. Not only for our members but for the entire community because it is impacting the community already."


       Lewenza said Clement, as Industry Minister, has failed to do his job.

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "He is supposed to advance the cause of the Canadian economy. You can not advance the cause of the Canadian economy by putting workers out of work. Six hundred workers put out of work by a stamp of government, no other reason, a stamp of government. And this is a crime against the workers in Sudbury and it is one more message that workers and Canadians more generally can not support the Tory government."


CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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