Presenting Petitions: Supporting Former Electro-Motive Workers and Fight Seniors Poverty

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions. The first is from the community of London and former workers of Electro-Motive Diesel.

The petitioners want the Parliament of Canada to know that Caterpillar illegally removed production equipment from EMD in London against the collective agreement. It forced a lockout on December 30, 2011, and demanded that the workers take a reduction in wages and benefits in excess of 50%, and accept a reduced and insecure pension plan. All of this is despite the fact that these workers had made Electro-Motive Diesel a very profitable company. In fact, productivity had increased by 20%, and the profits were up in the billions of dollars over last year.

The petitioners are requesting that the Parliament of Canada investigate the conditions of the sale of Electro-Motive Diesel to Caterpillar, and to immediately enforce any and all appropriate penalties should there be violations under the Investment Canada Act.

I might add that in light of the recent debate in the House about the need to strengthen the Investment Canada Act, it is most appropriate that the petitioners are calling on the government to make improvements to the Investment Canada Act so that the travesty which happened to the EMD workers, their families and the London community does not happen again.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, there is great concern about threatened changes to the old age security program. The petitioners regard this as a direct attack on the poorest seniors who rely on that money for daily living expenses.

In February of this year, the official opposition moved a motion which called on the House to reject the proposal by the Prime Minister to increase the eligibility age for old age security and also called on the government to take the necessary measures to eliminate poverty among seniors.

Therefore, the petitioners are calling upon Parliament to maintain funding for the OAS and make the requisite investment in the guaranteed income supplement to lift every senior out of poverty.