The big news down in this area the past few days – specifically in London – is that the big company Caterpillar decided to lock all of its employees out at its London based ElectroMotive plant. It is trying to force its employees there to take more then a 50% wage cut in salary and benefits, as well as trying to get rid of the pension plan. You might think the company is in a bad position, but it has profits in the billions of dollars, while it gives its CEO a multi-million dollar salary. Times aren’t tough for it – it’s just decided it’s going to try to break the union and hang the threat of leaving the country and replacing the London plant with a plant in Indiana.
This is the same company and plant that Stephen Harper was touting tax breaks for three years ago, saying it was essential to keep the plant open in London. He has so far been silent on this issue – perhaps hiding behind the holidays as an excuse. It is no different today in London – a city that has close to 10% unemployment and cant afford losing several hundred more jobs because of corporate greed. Harper and the government should speak up publicly – as a company three years removed from getting a big tax cut that Harper himself announced shouldn’t be getting away with this type of behaviour – the very stuff the Occupy Wall St. movement was born over – and remind the company it wasn’t given tax breaks only to threaten to leave three years later, if the blackmail it’s trying to attempt on its workers fails.