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TorontoAll workers in Ontario will get a raw deal if Tory plans to gut employment standards legislation are realized. But labour is not prepared to sit idle and allow Mike Harris to take away protections for workers. We intend to fight, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The Employment Standards Act (ESA) often referred to as the collective agreement for non-unionized workers, provides for the minimum of protections in the workplace. 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 ESA 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 Ryan.

Ryan will be one of several union presidents touring the province over the next few weeks, getting the word out to workers that the governments proposed overhaul of ESA will lower workplace standards and hurt all Ontario workers.

The erosion of minimum standards will hurt non-unionized, low-paid workers the most many of whom are visible minority immigrant workers and women, says Ryan, who will join Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson on Monday, November 6, 2000 at 7:00 p.m., for an all-union mobilizing meeting in the Richelieu Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 101 Lyon St., in Ottawa, Ontario.

The month-long provincial tour marks the first time since the Days of Action that an all-union front has come together to fight the Tory government. Some of the other scheduled meetings on the tour include Toronto, Windsor, North Bay, Kingston and Sudbury.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario (416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774

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