CATERPILLAR LOCKOUT REQUIRES GOVERNMENT ACTION NDP MPs SAY

CONSERVATIVE INACTION RISKS MORE JOB LOSS IN ANOTHER CANADIAN COMMUNITY

OTTAWA – New Democrats called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for turning his back on London families as US manufacturing giant Caterpillar threatens to take over 50 per cent in wage cuts and other benefits away from the more than 400 employees it locked out last Sunday.

 “It was only three years ago Stephen Harper used this very plant as a backdrop to announce a $5 million federal tax break for this already profitable company,” said NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe).

 “But now that Caterpillar wants to cut its workers’ salaries roughly in half, Mr. Harper is nowhere to be found. The Conservatives say jobs are a priority, but they continually refuse to act. It’s hard to see how they can keep a straight face anymore.”

 NDP Labour Critic Yvon Godin says years of Conservative mismanagement has lead to a string of bad foreign takeovers that have seen wages cut, pensions slashed, and Canadian jobs shipped overseas.

 “Given this government’s heavy-handedness with the labour movement, I can only imagine how quickly the Conservatives would step in if a union asked a company for a 50 per cent wage increase in bargaining,” said Godin.

 “But in this case, an already profitable global corporation wants Canadian families to live on half the salary, and this government doesn’t think it’s their problem. Well Mr. Harper, this isn’t just a union problem, and it isn’t just a London problem. It’s a Canadian problem, and it’s time to act.”