“Everyone here knows the effect this will have on these families, on this city, on this region as a whole. It will be devastating.” ― Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Dauphin, Man. (7 Feb. 2020) ―The citizens of Manitoba's Dauphin and the Parkland region came out in droves to support members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), who work at the Dauphin Correctional Centre, and to demand the government reverse its decision to close the jail.
Chants of, “Don’t close it down. Don’t kill our town,” could be heard as more than 350 supporters marched from the MGEU/NUPGE’s Dauphin office down Main Street to a rally near the jail on Tuesday.
Community comes together to oppose closure
In the wake of the government’s announcement on January 24 of the May closure, the City of Dauphin and surrounding Parkland region quickly joined together to voice their disapproval by sending thousands of messages to the government asking them to reverse the decision.
The community is throwing their support behind these workers: the City of Dauphin organized a Town Hall Monday night with over 600 in attendance and local businesses are asking patrons to sign a petition to stop the closure. Tuesday evening’s march and rally showed those who work at the facility that their community has their backs.
“Everyone here knows the effect this will have on these families, on this city, on this region as a whole. It will be devastating,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky at the rally. “Somehow this government is incapable of comprehending the damage they are doing to our public services, to our economy, and the people of our province.”
80 jobs lost in Dauphin would be equivalent to 8,000 jobs lost in Winnipeg
MGEU/NUPGE Corrections Local 10 President, Chris Geisel, also spoke at the rally on behalf of the 80 workers at the jail.
“80 jobs lost in Dauphin would be equivalent to 8,000 jobs lost in Winnipeg, and there is no way Winnipeggers would let that stand. I’m asking everyone in Winnipeg, everyone in this province to stand up for us now,” Geisel told the crowd.
Gawronsky spoke out to the provincial decision makers, who were noticeably absent. “Tonight we are again calling on the government to reverse the decision to close the Dauphin jail and proceed with the previous plan to build a new correctional and healing centre with an expanded courthouse in Dauphin — calling on this government to recognize just how much this community has already put into this project,” she said.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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