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CAW criticizes locomotive purchase

Published by Steve Coleman on March 09, 2012

Canadian Auto Workers is tearing a strip off Caterpillar and both the US and Canadian governments after a sale involving six locomotives made by Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. for a Labrador mining operation.

The union criticized the Export-Import Bank of the United States - a property of the US federal government - for its decision to approve an $83.1 million in loans to sell six locomotives to the Iron Ore Company of Canada. The company is a Rio Tinto subsidiary.

CAW says the company shouldn't have bought the locomotives from Electro-Motive in light of Caterpillar's recent decision to shut down the London, Ont. plant that makes the engines and move the operations to the US.

Before shutting down the factory 18 months after it bought it, Caterpillar demanded a 50 per cent wage cut from union members.

"These locomotives will be used to extract Canadian resources, and they should be made in Canada" union president Ken Lewenza said in a news release. "It's an incredible slap in the face, given how offensively Caterpillar treated Canadians.

"The U.S. government is subsidizing the destruction of Canadian jobs. Worse yet, our own government is standing by and letting it happen."



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