Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Locked out permanently

Ontario was once the economic engine of the entire country. The province was the industrial heartland of Canada. Today, industry is leaving: Mexico, China, even the States are the destinations.

The Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London was opened in 1950. After more than half a century and three owners, the locomotive plant is being closed. Caterpillar demanded that the workers take a cut of approximately 50 percent in pay and accept further cuts in benefits and the company pension plan. The workers refused and Caterpillar locked them out.

As the lockout stretched into the fifth week, Caterpillar pulled the plug and is pulling the plant out of Canada. Counting the unionized and non-unionized workers, approximately 700 Londoners are being thrown out of work.

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