The Green Parties of Canada (GPC) and Ontario (GPO) are calling on government officials to contact Caterpillar/Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) to encourage them to reconsider closure of their London facility.
“It’s outrageous that a company with record profits of $4.9 billion dollars would bully its workers into accepting a 50% wage cut, lock them out and then close the plant a month later,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner who attended last week’s rally to support the locked out workers.
This announcement came as Statistics Canada released new numbers that show the Canadian jobless rate has increased to 7.6 per cent. London already has one of the highest unemployment rates of any city in Canada.
Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May joined her provincial counterpart in decrying the loss of jobs in an important sector. “The federal government has been undermining collective bargaining rights. We need to stand by our workers and protect jobs.”
GPO Labour Critic and London North Centre candidate Kevin Labonte called on the Liberal government to provide support the EMD workers. “This is a tough blow to London and especially the families of the EMD workers,” says Labonte. “We need the provincial and federal governments to commit to doing everything possible to help these families in their time of need.”
“The actions of Caterpillar highlight the importance of supporting local businesses that invest in their communities.” says Schreiner. “It’s time to end the corporate handouts and provide a hand up for hard working Ontarians.”