Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Opposition MPs must support local workers, says CAW President Buzz Hargrove

    TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - The following letter was sent by Buzz Hargrove
to MP Brian Masse (Windsor West) after comments that he made in the Windsor
Star indicated his support for the Harper Tory government's inaction on the
Ford Essex engine project and their disregard for the auto industry and the
tens of thousands of workers it employs.

AND VIA FAX NO. 613-992-5397

Brian Masse, MP
Deputy Critic for Industry (Auto Policy)
New Democratic Party of Canada
701 Justice Building, House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Brian,


On behalf of the workers at Ford in Windsor, I can say that we feel
immensely let down by your lack of effort to secure federal funding for the
Ford Essex Engine project. We don't appreciate your help in letting the Harper
government off the hook in not supporting Ford workers, their families and the
communities of Windsor and Essex County.
Support for the future of Local 200 Ford workers and the communities of
Windsor and Essex County should be the priority of all opposition parties. Our
members pay the taxes that pay the salaries of MP's, including yours. They
also help pay for the important social programs for all Canadians. I am
furious that you could not rise above partisan politics and support Ford laid
off workers and the country's most important industry, especially in your own
Contrary to your comments in the Windsor Star, former prime minister Paul
Martin put $100 million into the Ford Oakville operations that has lead to
over $1.5 billion in investment at Oakville, secured 3,000 jobs at Ford's
assembly plant and thousands more in the parts supplier industry across
Ontario. Prime Minister Paul Martin put $200 million into GM's Beacon Project
that has saved thousands of jobs in Ontario. Prime Minister Martin put several
million dollars into Chrysler's Windsor plant to ensure the facility received
the new generation of mini vans.
Premier Dalton McGuinty matched these funds, plus even more. The Ontario
Liberal government committed the financial support that lead to yesterday's
Ford announcement. Auto workers need action not apologists for the Harper
government's lack of vision, sensitivity and lack of support for Canada's
workers in the manufacturing sector, especially the auto industry. Unfair,
one-way trade with Japan and South Korea is killing Canada's incredibly
successful auto industry while the Harper government does nothing and the NDP
gives them their support.
It is clear from your comments that the NDP does not appreciate the
insecurity, the frustration and anger of auto workers at the lack of support
for their families and their communities by their elected officials.
While you are supporting the Harper government's anti-worker position,
our national union is working with CAW Local 1973 leadership to try and save
over 1,300 jobs for our General Motors members, their families and the
community. We will only be successful if we have the support of the provincial
government and the federal government. We are confident of the McGuinty
Liberal government's support but given your lack of support, the Harper
government will be under no pressure to support Windsor GM workers.
Finally, the hard work of Mike Vince, president of CAW Local 200, the
entire elected CAW Local 200 leadership and membership to win this first phase
of the Essex engine investment is sadly undermined by your support for Stephen
Harper and Jim Flaherty's - let the market decide philosophy, which directly
contradicts core progressive values.

Yours truly,

National President

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