International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

July 17, 2007 16:33 ET

Machinist's furious over lost bus Contract!

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor WINNIPEG, MB FEDERAL CONTRACT GOES OFFSHORE--(Marketwire - July 17, 2007) - Machinists at Motor Coach Industries are outraged with the federal government over its decision to choose a German company to supply the Department of National Defence with 30 new buses.

"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. MCI 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. "I asked the Prime Minister in March to implement a 'Buy Canadian' procurement policy to help our manufacturing sector which is losing 192 jobs daily," said Ritchie. "Obviously, he's not listening."

Public Works Canada said the Setra bid offered the best value for Canadian tax dollars. But Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre doesn't agree. He pointed out that MCI has been supplying the military with buses for more than 25 years with no complaints. "The DND just took delivery of 12 MCI coaches in February, so why now is there a sudden need to buy offshore," he asked. "It makes no sense to buy another brand of vehicle that currently has limited supply and technical support in North America."

"Our federal government is risking Canadian jobs for the lowest bid," said IAMAW Grand Lodge Representative Brian Short. "We're talking about a difference between the two bids of less than $2,000 per unit and this doesn't take into account the loss of more than $2.5 million in work for Canadian suppliers."

More than 1,000 members of IAMAW Local Lodge 1953 are employed at MCI in Winnipeg. The IAMAW represents more than 700,000 active and retired members in North America and administers more than 5,000 contracts in transportation, woodworking, aerospace, manufacturing and defense-related industries.
/For further information: Brian Short – IAMAW Grand Lodge Representative
Pat Martin – MP Winnipeg Centre
Bill Trbovich – IAMAW Director of Communications
416-386-1789 ext 31/416-735-9765

Contact Information

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