Unions Encourage Canada Post to Buy Canadian

March 3, 2009, 6:23 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is calling on Canada Post to support the economy and workers by ensuring the purchase of thousands of new made in Canada postal vehicles.

In a letter sent to Canada Post Corporation President and CEO Moya Greene on February 25, Lewenza encouraged the Crown Corporation to ensure the 4500 to 5500 new light vehicles that will be purchased in the coming years are assembled by Canadian workers.

"It is vitally important that government and government agencies spend public funds on
Canadian-made goods and services wherever possible," said Lewenza.

"Reinvesting public funds back into the domestic economy helps protect and create Canadian jobs and strengthen communities."

Canada Post has made plans to purchase new vehicles as part of its plan to motorize letter carrier operations across the country. Among the vehicles shortlisted for this purchase is the Chrysler Town & Country minivan, built in Windsor, Ontario - the only shortlisted vehicle that is assembled in Canada.

In a January 30 letter to federal Minister of State for Transport, Rob Merrifield Canadian Union of Postal Workers President Denis Lemelin argues in favour of attaching Canadian-content requirements to the vehicle purchase.

"It is imperative that a publicly owned Crown Corporation, such as Canada Post, make a public commitment to purchase all of its vehicles from Canadian manufacturers," Lemelin said.

Production at Chrysler's minivan plant in Windsor has dropped off in recent months due to the softening demand for autos in North America and around the world.

"A vehicle order of this magnitude would be a huge boost to the workers in the plant and would save hundreds of jobs," Lewenza said.

Click here to read a full copy of the letter.

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