Norman De Bono (The National Post):
A London, Ontario industrial giant has been thrust into a federal election scrap between party leaders, and its workers — fearing their jobs could be jeopardized — aren’t happy about it.
In a federal leaders’ debate, when the NDP’s Tom Mulcair questioned Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on General Dynamics Land Systems Canada’s (GDLS) $15-billion deal to supply armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, it drew fire from Unifor, the union that represents workers at the London plant.
“We have contacted the NDP about this issue,” said Fergo Berto, Unifor area director for London, adding that Unifor national president Jerry Dias spoke recently to Mulcair.
If GDLS lost the contract, it would not only mean “significant” job losses in London, he said, but he’s worried it would also hurt the plant’s ability to land future work.“We asked the NDP to not make this an issue, that it be kept under wraps. There are a lot of issues out there to be talking about,” said Berto, adding Dias spoke to Mulcair over the weekend, after the debate last week.
There are more than 2,000 workers at GDLS Canada and more than 500 are Unifor workers.
See also: “Unifor walk back criticism of NDP for raising Saudi arms deal in debate” (Ricochet)