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Some Good News for Former London EMD Workers

October 15, 2012

Late last week, on the heels of the CAW’s news regarding their contract with GM Canada, some of the former London EMD workers received good news. Those union members who had been hired at Electro-Motive while under GM ownership (which ended in 2006) are to be allowed recall rights at the Cami plant in Ingersoll, Ontario as well as at the GM assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario. Some 160 workers will be given the opportunity to take these jobs (replacing temporary workers) because they are considered ‘legacy workers’ under parts of the collective bargaining agreement that were put in place while the GM owned the London plant.

Just under two months before Christmas, this must be cheering for the 160, although some 300 others are still looking for work. Good for the CAW for ensuring that at least some of their constituents were addressed in the recent negotiations. After poor treatment by one large business owner, it is good to see some help provided by another.

Don’t forget, however, that it puts those ‘temporary’ workers out of a job as well. The London area still needs more job creation in order to support the city’s growth. It can’t be done by displacing people – it just leaves the same number of people out of work and unable to support their families. There has to be some way of creating jobs, be it in another sector of employment, that doesn’t take from one person and give it to another. If wages have to come down in order for growth to occur, it may be a difficult pill to swallow for many, as shown by the past few years’ losses in the automotive area.

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