Toronto, Ontario – A plan by the Canadian government to buy 1,300 military trucks from Navistar International in the U.S. must be reconsidered, according to the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW). Numerous truck manufacturers in Canada are under threat of closure, said CAW president Ken Lewenza, including a Navistar plant in Chatham, Ontario.
In a letter to Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Lewenza said that truck builders Paccar in Quebec and Freightliner in St. Thomas, Ontario also face possible closure.
“If we are going to try and stimulate the economy in Canada and specifically, where manufacturing is at an all-time low and job loss is unprecedented, your government must recognize how critical it is to ensure that Canadian tax dollars are spent to put Canadians at work,” Lewenza said. “It seems the federal government has lost sight that in 2003, they invested in the Chatham facility by agreeing to provide over $30 million of assistance to Navistar to maintain these important jobs in the community and Ontario.”
The Canadian government has awarded a $245 million contract to Navistar to build medium-duty trucks for the Canadian Forces at its plant in Texas.