International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

October 30, 2007 11:00 ET

Postcard Campaign Demands Re-tendering of DND Bus Contract

Attention: Assignment Editor, Automotive Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Oct. 30, 2007) - Tuesday October 30, 2007

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON - The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the NDP have called on the federal government to cancel its order for 30 troop carrier buses and re-tender the contract in a competition between Canadian bus manufacturers.

"I find it absolutely disgusting that our tax dollars are going into the pockets of a foreign company to pay for a product that can be made right here in Canada," said IAMAW General Vice President Dave Ritchie. Ritchie joined NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) and NDP Defence critic Dawn Black (New Westminster-Coquitlam) in a news conference this morning to present a national post card petition calling on the Harper government to put 'Canada First' in military procurement contracts.

Motor Coach Industries of Winnipeg lost the $14 million contract for 30 new motor coaches to Setra, a German-based subsidiary of Daimler Chrysler, which submitted a slightly lower bid. "The difference in the winning bid was less than one half of one percent or about $2,000 a unit," said an irate Ritchie. "We have more than one thousand members in Winnipeg who could be affected by this. The Canadian manufacturing sector is getting gutted and this contract award shows very clearly that this government doesn't care. People from across the country are supporting a 'Buy Canadian' procurement policy, the results of the petition are very clear," said Ritchie.

"The DND just took delivery of 12 MCI coaches in February, so why now is there a sudden need to buy offshore," asked Pat Martin. "It makes no sense to buy another brand of vehicle that currently has limited supply and technical support in North America."

NDP Defence critic Dawn Black says military procurement contracts should provide the best product for the dollar. "In this case the lowest bid is not the best value for a number of good reasons," she said.

"We're losing 192 manufacturing jobs a day in this country," said Ritchie. "If our own government won't support Canadian manufacturers, who will?"

/For further information: Bill Trbovich - IAMAW Director of Communications


Contact Information

  • Bill Trbovich, Director of Communications, IAMAW
    Primary Phone: 416-386-1789 ext. 31
    Secondary Phone: 416-735-9765