Mass Demonstration at Siemens Canada Head Office
July 14, 2010, 11:27 AM EST
CAW Local 504 members who work at Siemens Canada's gas turbine facility in Hamilton, Ontario held a mass demonstration outside the company's headquarters to protest plans to close the plant and move work to North Carolina.
They urged the highly profitable company to reverse the decision or find alternate work for the long-time Hamilton facility. Failing those options they demanded the company sit down with the CAW to finalize an equitable settlement.
The company has announced plans to close the gas turbine plant in July 2011.
"We're getting increasingly frustrated at this company's callous attitude towards its workforce, so this could be the first of many similar events if things don't change," said CAW Local 504 President Randy Smith. "We continue to receive strong support from our brothers and sisters at IG Metall in Germany, the metalworkers' union which represents Siemens workers there, who believe there remains a strong future for the Hamilton facility as well as gas turbine facilities in Germany."
"After more than 100 years of commitment from this workforce in Hamilton it's a disgrace the way the company is treating these highly skilled workers," said CAW National Representative Tom Rooke. "They should treat these workers with the dignity they deserve - this is a corporation that's making billions in profits each year worldwide."
"It's time for this corporation to come back to the table and negotiate a fair and equitable agreement for these workers," said Rooke.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said Siemens is a world-wide producer that has benefitted from government support and procurement contracts, including here in Canada. "Siemens should not forget that it owes its success to its productive workforce, including our members at the Hamilton facility," Lewenza said.
Failing the possibility of finding alternate work to keep the plant running, Lewenza said the union is demanding a fair settlement agreement, that to date Siemens has been unwilling to consider.
CAW Local 504 represents approximately 350 hourly and salaried members at Siemens in Hamilton.