CAW Manufacturing Matters Rally In Oshawa Targets Flaherty
June 1, 2008
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The CAW Manufacturing Matters Campaign rolled into federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's home riding in Oshawa Ontario June 1, 2008.
Over two thousand people marched through the streets of Oshawa bringing attention to the 400,000 manufacturing jobs that have been lost in Canada in since 2002.
GM Oshawa Plant Chair
"There is nothing more important that what you are attending this morning because the fight starts today. The fight starts against the government today. We're going to have a new rep, a new MP in Oshawa if it is the last thing we do. We're going to move Flaherty someplace else but anywhere but here."
CAW President Buzz Hargrove said the job losses are due to unfair trade and the federal government is responsible.
"This is a crisis and I can't believe that at a time when we face the worse crisis in the history of our industry and manufacturing more generally that we have the most insensitive government in the history of Canada, during my life time, in Ottawa led by Mr. Harper and Mr. Flaherty."
The fight to keep Canadian manufacturing jobs isn't just about the auto sector but all manufacturing. Various unions including the United Steel Workers Local 1005 from Hamilton joined in the rally to save Canadian manufacturing jobs.
USWA Local 1005 President
"Our problem is we don't have enough political power to stop it, to change what these people are doing. They're wrecking this economy. That's why we came with our bus from Hamilton. That's why we support what you are doing here. And we should take this further. We have to have the political power to change this economy."
In a community where over 10,000 jobs have been lost since the Harper government was elected, Hargrove said Finance Minister Flaherty and his boss think tax cuts will solve everything.
While Canada's auto and manufacturing industries see their market share stolen by one-way unfair trade, Japan and Korea are building factories and exporting millions of cars into North America while keeping their markets closed.
"Who's the smartest government? The government that protects its industry. Protects its workers and their families and their communities or is it Canada that said "to hell with it, let the market decide? I say we have got to get rid of people like Harper and Flaherty that don't protect the interests of Canadians."
The Manufacturing Matters Campaign is continuing to mobilize workers across Canada.
CAW Local 222 President
"In the last two years 10,800 jobs gone in Oshawa. So when you go back into your workplaces tomorrow, talk to your co-workers and remind them, they need to get involved, They need to fight. They might have a job today but that job can be gone tomorrow. It's about all of us heading in the same direction, all of us taking up the fight."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."