TorontoAll workers in Ontario just got a raw deal today when the Tory government introduced new employment standards legislation. And the introduction of labour law changes, making it harder for workers to join a union is a clear indicator of this governments contempt for working people and an ever-escalating attack on their workplace rights.
But labour is not prepared to sit idle and allow Mike Harris to take away protections for workers. We intend to fight, says Brian OKeefe, secretary-treasurer of the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
OKeefe will be one of several union presidents attending an all-union mobilizing meeting in Niagara on Tuesday, November 27th, 2000 at 7 p.m. at the Plumbers Hall, 1368 Upper Line, Thorold. Other unions joining OKeefe will be members of the Canadian Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers of America.
To date, thousands of activists have packed meeting halls across the province to hear Ryan and other labour leaders outline labours fight back campaign and to decide what community and workplace actions they will mount to ensure the hard-won rights of workers are protected and the Tory overhaul of legislation is nixed.
The provincial tour marks the first time since the Days of Action that an all-union front has come together to fight the Tory government. Other scheduled meetings on the tour have included Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto. Meetings are also planned for Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie and Cornwall.
The Tory proposals to lower standards include, a 60-hour workweek, one day at a time vacations and less pay for overtime. The Tories argue these changes to employment standards are needed to give employers more flexibility and help fuel the economy.
If this were in fact true, why are European economic powers introducing shorter, 35-hour workweeks? Five Canadian provinces now have a 40-hour workweek, as do many U.S. states. This shows the Tories are making these changes based on ideology, not based on whats good for the economy or whats good for workers, says OKeefe.
For more information please contact:
Brian OKeefe, Secretary-Treasurer CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications