January 6, 2012
TO: OFL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
SUBJECT: London Day of Action Against Caterpillar Inc: Saturday, January 21 @ 11:00 a.m.
… ALL OUT to support CAW Local 27
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Caterpillar Inc. is attempting to bulldoze Canadian workers. It is time to fight back!
Electro-Motive, a subsidiary of U.S. industrial giant Caterpillar Inc., wants to strong-arm workers into a pay cut of over 50%, dropping hourly wages from $35 to $16.50. It has also leveled devastating cuts to benefits and pensions at the members of CAW Local 27 even though the company has enjoyed billions in profit and a 20 percent boost to production over the last year.
The labour movement must come together to defend these workers and stop Caterpillar dead in its tracks. It’s time that organized labour began to militantly push back against every greedy employer – whether in the private or public sector – that is attacking good jobs and retirement security for current and future employees.
The OFL is calling on every labour council to help mobilize for a massive Day of Action Against Caterpillar in London on Saturday, January 21 at 11:00 am to support the members of CAW Local 27.
The rally will take place at 2021 Oxford St. East in London, Ontario (between Clark Rd and Industrial Rd). We need every labour council and affiliate to begin mobilizing quickly and aggressively to fill buses to London with your members and community allies, no matter where they are in the province.
Print and online materials will be distributed over the weekend and early next week. However, you should waste no time in booking buses to London and appointing staff and activists to begin spreading the word to sign up your members and community allies for the buses.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of labour! Employers of all types in the public and private sectors are collaborating in an aggressive assault on decent paying jobs, good benefits and retirement security. The consequences could mean the destruction of the middle class and a ballooning of the working poor. Everywhere we turn, employers are seeking major concessions from dedicated workers that are designed to convert good jobs into precarious and temporary ones. The same issues have recurred again and again over the past two years at US. Steel, ECP, Vale Inco, Canada Post, Air Canada, and even the City of Toronto. There is no doubt that greedy foreign-owned companies like Electro-Motive/Caterpillar and others are attempting to set a precedent by exploiting Canada’s lax labour laws and shameful domestic investment protections to break unions and usher in a new era of precarious work and record corporate profits.
Take these extra steps to help make the London Day of Action a success:
- Pass an emergency motion at your meeting to support the Jan. 21 Day of Action;
- Appoint a staff member to coordinate your labour council’s mobilization;
- Outreach to community allies, in particular any local Occupy Activists, to connect our issues in the battle against corporate greed;
- Bring your own signs, banners and union flags to show support; and
- Secure funding from your labour council and affiliates for buses from your community.
Labour Councils without the financial capacity to fully subsidize buses to London are invited to contact the OFL to arrange financial support. However, all subsidized buses must be filled!
Questions about mobilizing, logistics and bus registration should be directed to:Laurie Hardwick, Director of Organization Services
416-571-3087 / firstname.lastname@example.org
More details on the London Day of Action Against Caterpillar Inc. will follow shortly but it is crucial that you begin mobilizing immediately to make this rally bigger than last year’s Hamilton and Toronto Days of Action. The future of Ontario jobs depends on it.
I look forward to seeing you all on the streets of London.
Sid Ryan, President of Ontario Federation of Labour
Ontario Federation of Labour