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KENORA, ON– Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) from Kenora area Locals are meeting tonight to put into action a campaign aimed at protecting workers’ democratic rights to free collective bargaining. The evening’s event is the first in a series of about 20 regional meetings taking place across the province.

Public service workers across Ontario are facing threats of new provincial legislation that attacks our democratic rights to collective bargaining and impartial third-party arbitration,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. “These rights come from decades of hard work that have brought fairness and stability to labour relations in Ontario; they must be protected.”

Bill 115, the Liberals’ legislation that affects school board workers, and other proposed legislation strips long-standing rights from workers who collectively negotiate their contract with employers. It allows the government to dictate what a collective agreement must achieve and to change a negotiated agreement unilaterally. Proposed legislation also undermines the ability for workers to seek impartial third-party arbitration when collective bargaining hits a dead end.

The campaign is calling for the repeal of Bill 115 and an end to any further legislation proposed by the government and PC Leader Tim Hudak that undermines the rights of other public service workers.

The Liberals are creating an unnecessary crisis by attacking our democratic rights,” said Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick. “The government’s intrusion could destabilize public services people depend on. We will be discussing steps to be taken locally to help protect these services – and our members.”