Hermitage #HamOnt – Part 8

Odds and Ends

Urban Landscape Artist - Chris Erskine
Urban Landscape Artist – Chris Erskine

 

This is part 8 and the final installment of the unfinished Hermitage Ruins doc.  Last year, as it appeared that the Hermitage would be partial demolished, a group of activists held a gathering at the Hermitage.  Their goal, to save the Hermitage.

This short and unfinished film follows some of the lead organizers as they explore the ruins and try to understand the location of the various buildings on the site.

It was a wonderful day of exploration, and really captured the power of the Hermitage over the imagination of those who visit the site.

Hope you enjoy the final installment.

Chris Erskine

chriserskineartist@gmail.com

@erskinec

EMD Lockout – Update on Hamilton Caterpillar Boycott Motion

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.

 

Call to Action – Support Caterpillar boycott

I ask that all CAW members attend the next meeting of Hamilton City Council on Wednesday, February 22, 2012(5:00 pm) at 71 Main Street(City Hall).  Council chambers are located on the second floor.

City Council will be debating the motion to boycott Caterpillar products and services because of their 2010 purchase and then closure of the Electro-Motive Diesel facility in London,Ontario.

Caterpillar purchased the plant with a $5 million federal subsidy. They told the Federal government that the facility was worth only $299 million but recorded the value on their financial statements as $1.3 billion – thus escaping government review for a net benefit to Canadians as required by the Canada Investment Act.

Despite being one of the most profitable corporations in the world, generating profits of $4.9 billion, the highest in its 86 year history, they still demanded a 50% cut wages and benefits.  When workers refused, Caterpillar first locked them out and then shut down their plant; moving the work to a non-union plant in the United   States and putting of work over 465 workers.

This lack of corporate social responsibility demands a response from individuals and communities and so Hamilton City Council will debate the following motion:

Whereas the Caterpillar Corporation has breached the Investment Canada Act, and has been subsidized by Canadian taxpayers who have been betrayed by the closure of its Caterpillar Plant in London, Ontario.

Therefore be it resolved:

That the City of Hamilton review its policy related to any business relationship with the Caterpillar Corporation and boycott Caterpillar and encourage all Hamilton, Ontario and Canadian businesses from doing business with the Caterpillar Corporation.

Peace and solidarity

EMD Lockout – Help Make The Right Decision

Please email the Mayor and Councillors and tell them why they should support the motion to boycott Caterpillar products and services.

Help our political leaders make the right decision by sending them a short email explaining why you believe it is a good decision for the Hamilton community.

Make it short and make it personal.

Politicians get too many petitions and form letters and their value is not as great as in the past.

If you are writing from the London community, tell our City politician what impact this has had on your community and why Hamilton should care.

Hamilton City Council

Bob Bratina

Mayor

mayor@hamilton.ca

 

Brian McHattie

Ward 1 Councillor

Brian.mchattie@hamilton.ca

 

Jason Farr

Ward 2 Councillor

Jason.farr@hamilton.ca

 

Bernie Morelli

Ward 3 Councillor

Bernie.morelli@hamilton.ca

 

Sam Merulla

Ward 4 Councillor

Sam.merrulla@hamilton.ca

 

Chad Collins

Ward 5 Councillor

Chad.collins@hamilton.ca

 

Tom Jackson

Ward 6 Councillor

Tom.jackson@hamilton.ca

 

Scott Duvall

Ward 7 Councillor

Scott.duvall@hamilton.ca

 

Terry Whitehead

Ward 8 Councillor

Terry.whitehead@hamilton.ca

 

Brad Clark

Ward 9 Councillor

Brad.clark@hamilton.ca

 

Maria Pearson

Ward 10 Councillor

Maria.pearson@hamilton.ca

 

Brenda Johnson

Ward 11 Councillor

Brenda.johnson@hamilton.ca

 

Lloyd Ferguson

Ward 12 Councillor

Lloyd.ferguson@hamilton.ca

 

Russ Powers

Ward 13 Councillor

Russ.powers@hamilton.ca

 

Robert Pasuta

Ward 14 Councillor

Robert.pasuta@hamilton.ca

 

Judi Partridge

Ward 15 Councillor

Judi.partridge@hamilton.ca

EMD Lockout – Help Make The Right Decision

Please email the Mayor and Councillors and tell them why they should support the motion to boycott Caterpillar products and services.

Help our political leaders make the right decision by sending them a short email explaining why you believe it is a good decision for the Hamilton community.

Make it short and make it personal.

Politicians get too many petitions and form letters and their value is not as great as in the past.

If you are writing from the London community, tell our City politician what impact this has had on your community and why Hamilton should care.

Contact information is listed on my previous post.

EMD Lockout – Labour Council Supports City Boycott

Last night Hamilton Labour Council supported two motions to back Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla’s efforts to boycott Caterpillar products and services.

The two motions that I proposed in the political action and social services committee were accepted by delegates of Hamilton and District Labour Council state:

1.)    That the HDLC supports the city council proposal to boycott any purchase from Caterpillar.

2.)    That the HDLC encourage all delegates and their unions to attend City Council meeting on February 22, 2012(when the resolution will be considered).

I was very pleased by the support given by the Hamilton Labour movement.  As I told delegates, this is not a CAW problem, it is a labour problem.  We have to learn new ways to fight back against global corporations that can use their scales of operations to defeat workers at the local bargaining table.  The occupy movement points the way with their use of technology and their use of independent local activism that is taken to a national and international level.  Hopefully, the leadership of Sam Merulla will be followed by other city councillors across Ontario and Canada.

I hope you can join us on February 22,  5 pm when Hamilton City Council considers Sam’s motion.  Audience support will be key to encouraging city councillors to make the right decision.

EMD Lockout – Ingersoll City May Not Buy Caterpillar

Ingersoll’s City Council is considering not buying Caterpillar backhoe.  Dan Borthwick, President of CAW Local 88 is asking council to buy a higher price competitor so that the city can make a strong political statement.  The decision has been defer to the next meeting of council on March 12.  You can read the CBC News report at:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/02/15/wdr-electro-motive-caterpillar-ingersoll.html

Thanks to Kim Crump for letting me know about this action.