May 29, 2007

Auto workers march in Oshawa and Windsor, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario – Hundreds of members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) marched on Oshawa and Windsor, Ontario on Sunday, at a ‘Manufacturing Matters’ rally to highlight massive job losses in the areas and across Canada.

Members of Local 222 marched in Oshawa to the office of MP Colin Carries, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Industry. They were joined by CAW members from Kitchener, Brampton, Woodstock and the surrounding area. Oshawa is home to General Motors of Canada’s head office and its largest plant.

“Manufacturing in Canada is in crisis and it’s not just auto,” says Chris Buckley, CAW Local 222 President. “All sectors are experiencing job loss, permanent job loss. It’s time our country woke up and realized we’re in a crisis.” The CAW says that Oshawa has lost 20 per cent of its manufacturing jobs, with more than 7,000 jobs lost in the community since 2002.

In Windsor, more than 38,000 people convened at the Ford Test Track Park, after marching from three rallying points. The march was organized by a community coalition group, and was made up of members of several CAW local unions, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), and the National Farmers Union, along with other groups. The rally focused on the loss of 18,000 manufacturing jobs in Windsor-Essex.

CAW National President Buzz Hargrove said the domestic auto industry was an important focus, and that the loss of auto jobs is not inevitable and could be prevented by fair trade with foreign producers, allowing equal access to overseas markets.

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