Over 2,000 people from across Ontario rallied today in Windsor alongside members of CUPE locals 82 and 543, the City of Windsor workers who have been on strike for almost two months.
After a walk on Riverside Drive, the crowd assembled in front of City Hall, where it was time for music, food and an impressive demonstration of solidarity.
CUPE National President Paul Moist was among those who addressed the participants. “I’m proud to be here in Windsor again today and bring you the support of all our membership,” said Moist.
“After eight weeks on strike, you are obviously going through some very difficult times. I simply want to acknowledge one more time the excellent work that has been done by your local union leaders. We are all proud of what you are doing here and we realize that your fight today will determine the future of generations to come.”
“You are doing a great job for the people of this community,” added Moist. “You do not deserve the kind of disrespect you are getting right now. You do deserve post-retirement benefits. If these are good enough for city councilors, they are good enough for city workers.”
Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario, also took the stage and addressed the crowd. “Do not allow this mayor to divide our union,” said Ryan.
“This has been an unfair and unjust strike. I don’t think this council realizes the strength of the labor movement, but they will have to reconsider after this great show of solidarity. Only two options remain: get back to the table and bargain fairly, or accept arbitration.”