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Toronto The head of Canadas largest union is calling for new militancy among workers and their social allies in the face of growing corporate power in Canada.

We have to be prepared to take direct action on trade agreements just as we do on collective agreements, said Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Darcy was speaking in Toronto at the Whose Economy? conference. Hundreds of social and labour activists from across the country are gathered to debate strategies for narrowing the gap in income, wealth and power.

Governments and corporations have gotten away with too much for too long, said Darcy. The barricades in Quebec City three weeks ago are symbolic of the wall government has placed between itself and the people. They are turning public wealth into private property and ignoring the will of the Canadians.

Legislating striking public sector workers back to the job is the same assault on our rights as throwing tear gas at peaceful protesters, she added.

What we face today is an all-out assault on democratic rights in this country and our efforts to fight back must be bold and effective, she said. Trade deals are being negotiated behind closed doors, access to health care, public education and clean water are in jeopardy while corporations and the people who own them are getting richer at the expense of our communities, said Darcy.

CUPE represents one half million public sector workers across Canada.


For further information, contact Catherine Louli (613) 851-0547 (cell.)