Update on Hamilton Caterpillar Boycott Motion
On Wednesday, February 22, 2012– Hamilton City Council discussed the motion to boycott Caterpillar products and Services, here are the results:
1.) The local Caterpillar dealership requested the opportunity to present their case before a subcommittee of City Council. The councillors agreed and the meeting will occur when everyone can agree to a date and time.
2.) Sam Merulla, the author of the boycott motion agreed to table the motion but said that regardless of the meeting results, he was going to re-introduce the motion to council. This will likely occur at next council in two weeks.
3.) Another motion dealing with US Steel that was introduced by Scott Duvall, a former steel worker, and this resulted in a significant discussion over US Steel’s apparent failure to get the Hamilton facility up and running after last year’s lockout of USW 1005. In the court settlement with the federal government over their failure to live up to the terms of court agreement (under the influence of the Canada Investment Act) they agreed to a couple of conditions. These conditions may not have been achieved. As a result:
a.) City Council wants US Steel to appear before a subcommittee of Council and answer their questions.
b.) Terry Whitehead gave a notice of motion that the City of Council wants the Federal Government to review the Canada Investment Act in light of the problems that Hamilton and other cities are having with foreign takeovers like US Steel and Caterpillar.
As a member of labour Council’s political action committee, I knew nothing about this motion. Several other Steel workers who came out to support the Caterpillar boycott also were in the same position.
The motion calling for a review of the Canada Investment Act supports the current call for action by CAW National.
I would like to thank everyone who sent emails to the councillors. They did notice the emails and it made them take the boycott motion much more seriously.
I would also like to thank the CAW and USW members who came out to City Council to encourage the councillors to make the right decision. Again, the councillors did take notice of the labour members in the audience.
It made a difference. Thank you for your support.