British Union Members in Ontario to Protest 407 ETR Contractor Ferrovial with United Steelworkers Support

Members of Unite, Great Britain's largest union, have come to Ontario to protest the anti-labour behaviour of European corporation Ferrovial and its links to the billion-dollar 407 ETR (Express Toll Route) extension.

Unite members and their supporters will be conducting informational picketing at various times throughout the week at the 407 ETR International corporate offices and at other locations.

Unite has led a campaign against alleged blacklisting of union activists by a consortium of companies, including Ferrovial, involved in the massive Crossrail railway project in England.

Ferrovial also is the parent company of Cintra Infraestructuras S.A. that partnered with Canada's SNC-Lavalin in securing a $1-billion contract for the 407 ETR extension east of Toronto.

Cintra and SNC-Lavalin, in partnership with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, also are the owners of 407 International Inc.

United Steelworkers (USW) members will be joining Unite union members this week to picket the 407 International offices.

"We believe Cintra and its parent company Ferrovial should demonstrate that they will not tolerate anti-union behaviour anywhere in the world where they operate," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

"We support our brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom in demanding that Cintra and Ferrovial respect fundamental workers' rights," Neumann said.

News agencies in Spain are reporting that the public prosecution office has compiled a report into local corruption that alleges Ferrovial paid a total of 6.6 million Euros in kickbacks to a local political party.

The Spanish reports follow fraud and bribery allegations against the SNC-Lavalin Group in several countries and measures such as a World Bank ban prohibiting SNC-Lavalin from bidding on projects for 10 years.

Last month the USW called for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to investigate the awarding of the 407 ETR contract to the Cintra-SNC-Lavalin partnership, in light of alleged anti-labour practices and corruption.

"The kickback allegations involving Ferrovial in Spain make it doubly important to investigate the 407 ETR contract," Neumann said. "These scandals raise serious question about whether companies like Ferrovial and SNC-Lavalin should be getting public contracts."

For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907,
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221,

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