CAW Members Rally Against Conservatives in Oshawa

September 25, 2008, 1:31 PM EST


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In an election rally in Oshawa on September 24, CAW President Ken Lewenza urged Oshawa-area CAW members to vote in favour of candidates who put the concerns of working people first.

"Since this government came into office two and a half years ago, our union has been the official opposition and today all that we have in this country is in jeopardy with the threat of a Conservative majority," said Lewenza.

"We have an opportunity to elect a representative of workers to go to Ottawa on our behalf, the best opportunity that we've had in Oshawa since former NDP leader Ed Broadbent," said Lewenza, speaking of NDP candidate Mike Shields.

Shields, a former CAW Local 222 president and current CAW national representative, is running in the Oshawa riding, a seat currently held by Conservative MP Colin Carrie. Carrie has been accused by GM workers of abandoning his constituents during the announcement of the Oshawa truck plant closure in June as well as several other major layoffs in the area. 

"Durham region has had the highest rise in unemployment across the country in the past year -98.4 per cent, and this doesn't even include the 2,600 jobs lost at the GM truck plant, local suppliers or other small businesses that now won't be able to survive," said Shields. "We need a government who will do something about this."

In the neighbouring ridings of Durham and Whitby-Oshawa, the CAW is endorsing an 'ABC' voting strategy (Anyone But Conservative), with the goal of preventing a Conservative majority government. In particular, the union is urging members to ensure Finance Minister Jim Flaherty does not get re-elected to office.

"I hope the Tories will be in trouble in every riding across the country and they will be if we think smart, act smart and vote smart on October 14," said Lewenza.

The rally was part of a leadership election tour by Lewenza to various communities across Ontario over the next two weeks.

For more information on the tour or for more election materials, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/

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