Over 10,000 people come out to support 'locked out' engineers in Canada. Their employers (Caterpillar) are reporting record profits yet are aiming to impose a 50% pay cut with immediate effect. If workers refuse the offer, Caterpillar are planning to shift all production to the United States.
Between ten and fifteen thousand workers have joined a protest in support of locked out workers in Ontario.
Electro-Motive Engineering, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. has locked out around four hundred workers since New Year’s Day. The lock out is part of an on-going dispute over plans to cut wages and benefits by 50%. Wages are currently at $35 an hour, yet management are insisting they be reduced to $16.50 an hour.
Canadian Auto Workers Union Leader Ken Lewenza, said that, “The dispute is the latest assault on manufacturing jobs in Canada. This struggle started three weeks ago, but in the last five years, 450,000 manufacturing workers in Canada were asked to go home and say to their young children they lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Workers are losing their jobs because of public policy of Stephen Harper (Prime Minister) that protects the interests of corporations.”
Workers were locked out after the rejected the final offer by Caterpillar. The attack on wages, terms and conditions are despite Caterpillar reporting record profits. Yet another example of a highly profitable business using the cloak of economic crisis to fuck over their workers.
Caterpillar has stated that if the workers refuse to accept the new terms, then they will shift all production to Indiana, were they have already imposed the new terms and conditions.
The Canadian government have declined any involvement or any comment.
Solidarity with the Canadian Engineers.