EMD Lockout – Timeline

March 19, 2008 – Harper visits the plant

June 2010 – The Electro-Motive Facilities is purchased by Caterpillar

September 2010 – Caterpillar books the value of the EMD operations at $1.28 billion about half the assets being inCanada.  The Investment Canada Act states that its central purpose is to provide “for the review of significant investments inCanada by non-Canadians in a manner that encourages investment, economic growth and employment opportunities inCanada…”  The Minister of Industry announces that they have approved the purchase.

October 29, 2010 – Caterpillar announces plans to open a 650 person plant to build EMD locomotives inMunice,Indiana.

November 2010 – Caterpillar awards a contract to start building EMD locomotives inSahagun,Mexico.

April 16, 2011 – ABC News reports that Caterpillar’s CEO, Douglas Oberhelman, made $22.5 million in 2010; with company revenues at 42.6 billion and profits of 2.7 billion.

July 25, 2011 – Caterpillar announces plans to build a new EMD Locomotive plant in Minas Gerais,Brazil that should employ 600 people.

November 2011 – Following a six month extension of the contract, CAW Local 27 begin negotiations with Caterpillar.

December 27, 2011 – Caterpillar tables its final offer that would slash wages in half, eliminate the pension plan, and drastically cut benefits.

December 30, 2011 – The Local votes 97.8 in favor of a strike if one is required.

January 1, 2012 – Caterpillar locks out CAW members.  Picket lines go up at6:00 pm.

January 3, 2012 – Sid Ryan visits the picket line.

January 4, 2012 – According to the Canada Press, the PM spokeperson, Carl Vallee stated that “ this is a dispute between a private company and the union and we don’t comment on the actions of private companies.”

January 5, 2012 – CAW questions the government’s claim that the assets of the plant were below the level that requires a Canada Investment Act review.  The threshold level is $299 million but Caterpillar values the assets on their books as $1.3 billion.

January 6, 2012 – London Day of Action is declared by the OFL forJanuary 21, 2012.  Paul Dewar visits the picket line.

January 7, 2012 – CAW Local 88 holds solidarity BBQ for the locked out workers.  Peggy Nash visits the picket line.

January 9, 2012 – Nancy Hutchison, the OFL Secretary-Treasurer and Irwin Nanda, OFL Executive VP visits the picket line. According to the London Community News, severance packages are handed out to some of the non-unionized workers at the Oxford Street Plant.  There are about 200 non-unionized workers at the facility.

Published by Chris Erskine

Inspired by architecture and landscapes, my art explores our relationship to place, memory and identity. As a mid career artist, my art practice includes: painting, murals, short films, and sound art.

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