Voter suppression tactics surface in Providence Care union vote: OPSEU

“I urge all staff in both bargaining units to get out and exercise their right to vote." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Kingston (21 April 2016) — Unidentified callers are telephoning workers at Providence Care in a bid to prevent them from casting their ballots in union representation votes this week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has learned.

Misinformation being spread before union vote 

Scores of staff in the Service and Clerical bargaining unit have received multiple calls from what appear to be “cloned” OPSEU/NUPGE numbers telling them they do not have to go to a polling station to vote, but can vote online or by phone instead. This is untrue.

“These kinds of dirty tricks have no place in Ontario and no place in Kingston,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU/NUPGE. “We want to make it crystal clear to all Service and Clerical staff and all Registered Nurses at Providence Care that the only way to vote for your union is to vote in person."

Voting must be done in person — exercise your right to choose your union

“I urge all staff in both bargaining units to get out and exercise their right to vote," Thomas said.

OPSEU/NUPGE has posted official voting times and locations online at

Hundreds of Providence Care staff in two separate bargaining units are voting to choose their union at the hospital. In the Registered Nurses unit, OPSEU/NUPGE and the Ontario Nurses’ Association are on the ballot.

In the Service and Clerical unit, staff are choosing between OPSEU/NUPGE and the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers’ International Union of North America.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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