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Toronto–Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is calling on CUPEs 180,000 Ontario members to support the Ontario Federation of Labours call for workplace actions in light of the Tory governments latest attack on the rights of workers.

Bill 57, the Government Efficiency Act, recently introduced by the Tories takes away the right of Ontario workers to refuse unsafe work. The legislation allows government workplace health and safety inspectors to investigate complaints from workers about unsafe conditions by fax or telephone.

Thats akin to saying the police should be allowed over the telephone to assess whether a crime has been committed or someone is in danger.

At a time when more and more workers are being exposed to toxic materials and employment standards have been gutted, it is reprehensible that this government put efficiency ahead of the lives and well-being of workers.

This Thursday in Ottawa, during the CUPE Ontario annual convention, CUPE members will be debating and voting on a resolution calling for a one-day strike.

CUPE members have had enough. Its time to draw the line in the sand. We are prepared to go to the wall to defend our public services, our universal health care system, our public education system and the health and safety of workers, says Ryan who will ask delegates at convention to support a call for workplace actions, up to and including the withdrawal of services.

This is the same mentality - of cutting corners and finding efficiencies - responsible for the Walkerton tragedy. Workers could die because this government thinks investigating a work site on the telephone is the same as investigating in person.


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