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Toronto—More than 400 health care workers employed at Toronto’s Riverdale Hospital have hit the street with a legal picket, to protest stalled contract talks with the employer. The workers, members of Local 79 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the largest municipal union in the country, are among nearly 40,000 Ontario health care workers now at the bargaining table.

CUPE health care workers across the country have shown repeatedly that they are prepared to fight employers and governments to ensure that patients get quality care and that workers are treated fairly,” says Brian O’Keefe the Ontario secretary-treasurer of CUPE.

O’Keefe will be joined by CUPE Local 79 president Ann Dembinski at a picket rally today (Wednesday, August 22) at 1 p.m. at the Riverdale Hospital.

Health care workers in Ontario do not have the right to strike. “But,” says Dembinski “they are dealing with crushing workloads and chronic understaffing as a result of the provincial government’s health care policies. And at the Riverdale Hospital these 400 workers are saying they are prepared to fight back.”

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For more information please contact:
Brian O’Keefe, Secretary-Treasurer CUPE Ontario
(416) 579-7414
Ann Dembinski, President CUPE Local 79
(416) 977-1629
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774

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