Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour
Canadian Auto Workers

London & District Labour Council

January 18, 2012 13:36 ET

Massive Rally Against Corporate Greed Expected to Be London's Largest: Nearly 70 Buses Already Booked for Saturday Rally to Support Electro-Motive/Caterpillar Workers

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2012) - With thousands already signed up to board nearly 70 buses to London, and thousands more planning to travel by car, Saturday's rally against Electro-Motive Canada and its parent company Caterpillar Inc. is expected to be the largest ever to take place in London.

"For workers across the province, this isn't simply about protecting the jobs of 500 workers, it is about taking a stand against the worst kind of state-sponsored corporate greed," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "Prime Minister Harper is spending billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize tax cuts for corporations who are taking our cash … and our jobs. It is like having our own money used against us."

Dubbed a "London Day of Action Against Corporate Greed," the rally to support the members of CAW Local 27 is slated to start at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 21 at Victoria Park in downtown London, Ontario. The park was the site of last year's Occupy London tent city and serves as a powerful symbolic connection to a movement inspired to defend the interests of "99 percent." The protest will target Electro-Motive/Caterpillar, which locked-out workers at its London-based diesel train plant on New Year's Day in an attempt to slash benefits and cut wages in half, after a year in which Caterpillar enjoyed billion dollar profits and a 20 percent boost in productivity.

Buses are expected to travel from 14 communities and as far away as Niagara, Ottawa and Sudbury, with thousands more traveling by car. There are even reports of supporters driving in from the GE Plant in Erie, Pennsylvania and the Caterpillar plant in La Grange, Illinois to support their locked-out Canadian counterparts.

"Prime Minister Harper has made it clear that he is on the side of corporations that are exploiting weak federal regulations and lax labour laws to rob Canadians of their jobs and their livelihoods," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Our message to the Harper government, Caterpillar and every other company is simple: it won't be business as usual until community needs come before corporate greed."

"The audacity of Caterpillar in demanding a $30 million annual cut from these workers, their families and our city has inspired the community to come together to say 'enough is enough,'" said Patti Dalton, President of the London and District Labour Council. "Caterpillar thought they could simply bulldoze the 500 employees at their London plant, but they didn't anticipate how passionately other Canadian workers and community members would support these workers."

Saturday's London Day of Action against Electro-Motive/Caterpillar is being organized by the CAW, with the support of the London and District Labour Council, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress.

www.OFL.ca

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Contact Information

  • Joel Duff
    OFL Communications Director
    416-707-0349 (mobile) ENGLISH/FRENCH

    Shannon Devine
    CAW Director of Communications
    416-302-1699 (mobile)

    Lynn Simmons
    OFL Communications Dept.
    416-668-7480 (mobile)