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Full text of speech

Ottawa Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), told delegates at the CUPE Ontario convention today (Friday, June 1) that new rules are needed to fight an old enemy. Mike Harris has found new ways to attack public sector workers in Ontario and we have to find new ways to fight back. Its time to move the struggle to a whole new level, including civil disobedience and economic disruption, said Darcy.

It is time to organize rotating strikes. Its time to occupy workplaces across Ontario. Its time for increased militancy on our picket lines. And, its time to show the government that no local will stand alone. For every strike, on every picket line, members from other locals will be reinforcing their fellow CUPE members.

If the far-right was in charge in the Tory cabinet before, now its the ultra far-right, Darcy said.

Darcy called upon members to escalate the unions response to the provincial governments latest attacks on collective bargaining rights and health and safety laws. The Harris government has hammered workers rights for seven years, rewriting labour laws, employment standards, health and safety, human rights, and employment equity law.

We expect the kind of battle that has taken place in Seattle and Quebec City to take place as we step up our resistance. And were going to have to be prepared to deal with tear gas, batons, battering rams and water cannons, because were going to turn up the heat, she said.


For further information, please contact:
Pam Beattie, Executive Assistant to Judy Darcy
(613) 761-8796 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 727-9144 (cell)