Versatile Rally Draws Government Support

Winnipeg, Ontario

January 28, 2000


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Retail Wholesale Canada Union Joins CAW
Versatile Rally Draws Government Support
dated January 27, 2000

Versatile Rally Draws Government Support
Winnipeg January 22, 2000
Representatives from all three levels of government promised they would do everything possible to save the jobs of 800 workers at the Versatile farm tractor assembly plant in Winnipeg. The plant's future has remained uncertain since November when Versatile's parent company was ordered by U.S. regulators, to divest itself of some of the Winnipeg plant's production lines. The pledge of government support came at a weekend rally held by CAW Local 2224

Gary Doer
Manitoba Premier

"We will drop anything at any time because this is a number one economic priority for us. Your plant and your future is our future and I am here to assure you of that today."

Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray told Versatile workers to remain positive about their future. He said this isn't the first time Winnipeg has been faced with losing a major industry. Workers joined with the city to save the Flyer Bus plant and Murray said we can do it again with Versatile.

Glen Murray
Winnipeg Mayor

"We are the best and the biggest in this because we have the plant and we have the best workforce. We're going to start building new partners as we did with New Flyer and get other investor. We're just simply not going to stop until we're the best, so lets not give up until we get there."

With at least four potential buyers for the Versatile plant, the CAW has demanded that the workers have a voice in any sales decision. In particular the CAW wants the TV-140 tractor production line to remain in Winnipeg as a condition of any sale. The tractor, which was designed and developed through a $45 million federal grant, is the plant's major product. Versatile's parent company, Case-New Holland says it will move that production line to the U.S.

Dale Paterson
CAW Area Director

"We think it's important that this work remain as part of the new ownership. They could sub-contract the work to our people who have the skills. The knowledge and the experience to work on the tractor and we think it should stay."

The CAW has been running a campaign to draw public awareness to the plight of the workers at Versatile and winning government support is proof that fighting back does make a difference.


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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