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Toronto—CUPE members throughout Ontario will be among flying squad teams shutting down workplaces across the province. The flying squad tactic is the beginning of a broader province-wide fightback campaign by labour to defeat the Harris Tories agenda to decimate public services and strip workers of hard-fought for rights, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Today, Ryan and other labour leaders, who sit on the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) executive board, ended a two-day meeting where they unanimously endorsed the fightback strategy that calls for direct action.

This government has adopted a piecemeal approach to dismantling our social programs, our public services and the rights of workers. And we too must use new strategies, like unannounced flying squads, to shutdown workplaces and create a climate of economic disruption, so that the Tories understand its not business as usual in this province, says Ryan, who went to the OFL with a mandate from delegates at CUPE Ontarios annual convention to mobilize workplace actions, including the withdrawal of services and a one-day province-wide strike.

The unannounced shutdown of workplaces will target key areas of recent regressive Tory legislation and policies, including the erosion of workers rights and the sixty-hour workweek under a new Employment Standards Act, the underfunding and privatization of home care, and the Public Sector Accountability Act.

To broaden the campaign, the OFL will call a meeting of the heads of unions to build a province-wide coalition that will include environmental and human rights activists, social justice groups, anti-globalization groups and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). Coalition partners will be invited to a one-day meeting at the upcoming OFL convention in November to discuss the implementation of the action plan.

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For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774