“Workers have the right to bargain collectively, and this rests upon the right to strike — otherwise, employers would always have the upper hand. It’s not always pain-free, but it’s principled." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (01 June 2018) — With less than a week until election day, Premier Kathleen Wynne has put the final nail in her government’s labour relations coffin, with whatWarren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), is calling a full-out attack on labour.
Liberals show desperation in attack on workers
“Our so-called social justice premier’s campaign has hit rock bottom,” said Thomas. “Wynne is pulling out all the stunts she can to try to win this election. After years of rhetoric, I think we’re finally seeing her true anti-labour colours. I’m pretty sure that any labour support she might have had up until now is toast.”
In an attempt to distinguish herself from the more progressive NDP platform, Wynne has argued that back-to-work legislation is necessary. This comes on the heels of last fall’s 5-week college strike, which ended when faculty were ordered back to work, and in light of the ongoing faculty strike at York University.
Bad policy decisions by Liberals at the root of labour disputes
But according to Thomas, the labour strife seen across Ontario is a direct result of the Liberal government’s squeeze on funding.
“You can’t starve post-secondary funding — which spurs even more precarious and part-time employment — and then blame the workforce for the fallout,” said Thomas. “Liberal policy is at the very root of this problem, and Wynne’s attack on Ontario’s workers is just the final nail in the Liberal coffin."
"If this is Wynne’s idea of doing better, she’s missed the mark yet again," said Thomas. “Workers have the right to bargain collectively, and this rests upon the right to strike — otherwise, employers would always have the upper hand. It’s not always pain-free, but it’s principled."
Make a better choice at the ballot box: choose better jobs, better bargaining
“We’ve all got a big decision to make on June 7,” said Thomas. “When we head to the polls to vote for better, we need to think about these politicians’ true colours and question who they really represent. I believe that a better Ontario means better jobs, better bargaining, and more respect for the workers who are the backbone of this province. As progressives, we must unite.”
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