Toronto: Last Friday, at the CUPE Ontario Annual Convention held in Ottawa, delegates supported a resolution for CUPE Ontario to take a lead within the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and with other unions and social activist groups to organize and participate in a one-day province-wide strike.
Today, Sid Ryan, the Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will attend a meeting of the OFL Executive Board, where the leadership will discuss a plan of action to fight the devastating agenda of the Harris Tories.
We are seeing a sharpening of the right wing edge of this government, with new legislation and policies that will ultimately decimate our public services and hurt all workers in the province, and we must go to the wall and fight, says Ryan.
The OFL Meeting will be held at the Auditorium, 15 Gervais Drive, 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 07, 2001
CUPEs 180,000 members in Ontario have had enough. They are prepared for a new level of militant activism, says Ryan, who will be speaking in favour of escalating workplace action and a province-wide strike as part of a broad-based fightback to defend public services and social programmes. Ryan points to recent Tory policies and legislation, such as the Public Sector Accountability Act that mandates the broader public sector to contract out services and bans budget deficits, and the flatlining of hospital and home care budgets as government policies that push privatization, that CUPE members oppose.
Add to that the erosion of workers rights through lowered employment standards, the taking away of the right to refuse unsafe work and the continuing erosion of our public education system with the introduction of tax credits for parents who send their children to private schools, as other reasons CUPE members are ready to fight, says Ryan.
(A copy of the resolution passed at the CUPE Ontario Convention, detailing organizing towards a one-day strike is available by contacting CUPE Ontario (416) 299-9739)
For further information:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications