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CUPE members joined workers from other unions in occupying the office of the Ontario labour minister to press demands for public hearings on its legislation attacking workers rights.

Workers occupied the constituency office of Ontario labour minister Chris Stockwell December 5 to protest legislation that increases the workweek to 60 hours, provides less pay for overtime and makes it harder for workers to join a union. The Tory government has refused to hold public hearings on Bill 139 and Bill 147.

Whats essential for workers in Ontario to understand is that these two Bills are an attack on everyones rights and protections in the workplace. But the government is intent on ramming them into law without meaningful public hearings. Workers have a democratic right to be heard, says Brian OKeefe, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario.

OKeefe points out that Bill 147 erodes the minimum protections for millions of non-unionized workers and Bill 139 makes it harder for workers to organize.

The two pieces of legislation will be used as a double whammy to keep Ontarios workforce earning low wages, without the protection of a union to improve their standard of living, says OKeefe.