CAW TTC Made In Canada Campaign

Toronto, Ontario

January 30, 2008


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CAW TTC Made In Canada Campaign

The Canadian Auto Workers union working with the Toronto & York Region Labour Council and other unions went to Queens Park to get the province to set a 50 per cent minimum level of Canadian content on any purchase of transit vehicles by municipalities. At a press conference January 30, 2007 John Cartwright, president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council outlined labour's demands.
John Cartwright
Pres. Toronto & York Region Labour Council

"We want the government of Ontario to intervene and to say there must be a majority of Canadian content and final assembly must be done in this country, if not in this province.
And secondly we want the province to finally adopt an over-all policy that says if it is funding transit vehicles, which will benefit working people in all kinds of different towns and cities across the province where the supplies come from, then every city that gets provincial money to buy transit vehicles must reflect a made in Canada policy. The majority of the transit vehicle must be of Canadian content and it must be assembled in Canada."

The Toronto Transit Commission is about to tender a $1.2 billion contract for new light rail transit cars to replace its aging fleet. Bob Kinnear, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 joined the fight for Canadian content.

Bob Kinnear
President Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113

"I represent the transit workers here in Toronto, almost 9,000 men and women who operate and maintain Toronto's transit system. We're here to support the fact that when the municipality and the province are going to make an initial investment of $1.2 million we believe that that investment should be made in Ontario."
A consultant's report for the TTC set the Canadian content level at 25 per cent claiming that was all that could be supplied in Canada. CAW researcher Bill Murnighan said the study is flawed in fact and in calculations.

Bill Murnighan
CAW Researcher

"A proper measure of what the industry can provide; final assemblers and suppliers; by their own costs shows 53 per cent currently available in Canada, more than double the level they recommend."
Bob Chernecki, assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove said the City of Toronto must change the content level before staring the tender process.

Bob Chernecki
Assistant to CAW National President

"There is an obligation here on City Council and on the TTC Commission to revisit the decision on the 25 per cent. We have properly pointed out that this study that they have commissioned, done in camera, is flawed in four or five areas and they need to revisit this decision."
In the USA, individual states set content level at 60 per cent and higher. Chernecki says Ontario needs to follow suit.

Bob Chernecki
Assistant to CAW National President

"Raising that level to 60,. Or 55 even 50 would ensure that the manufacturing of those cars was done here in this country and in this province. There is an absolute obligation here to do that."
The CAW is asking all its members to contact their MPPs, MPs and their municipal councillors and stress the need for a buy Canadian procurement policy.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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