Just last week, a strong majority of the company’s couriers in Toronto voted to join OPSEU/NUPGE, but the company is holding up their union certification with stall tactics and baseless procedural wrangling. And now in the most hamfisted, anti-union move possible, directly linked to the successful union drive, the company is laying off up to 15 per cent of its workers in Toronto and sending them home immediately.
The reason cutting public sector wages hurts the economy so badly is that, like almost all low- and middle-income earners, public sector workers spend what they earn in their communities. The bulk of what public sector workers earn goes to businesses providing items like groceries or housing. When you take that money out of the community, everyone feels the pain.
“The bottom line is supply issues are governing the day, not worker health and safety. The government knows that if it were up to inspectors, the precautionary principle would be a foundation in any workplace inspection. But plain and simple, inspectors are not being allowed to do their important jobs.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
NUPGE joins CUPW in calling on Foodora and the federal government to ensure that workers and food couriers be protected.
"I hope [this] ruling shows the Premier and his government that it's time for them to stop fighting with their own employees, to stop the threats, and to start treating the people who deliver vital public services with respect." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“Our members in the CBO sector provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We need to recognize these workers for their dedication and ensure they have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE).” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations. The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Federal government programs to help people who are without work due to COVID-19 have changed several times since they were first announced. There may be further changes so it’s important to double check that any information on federal programs.
And what about the long list of workers that have been deemed essential during this pandemic? People who work in our grocery and convenience stores, at gas stations, or who provide food delivery. These are also the heroes we’re hearing about. Would you have seen them that way before the pandemic broke out?
“Once we’re through this emergency, things cannot go back to business as usual. Long term changes need to be made.” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU/NUPGE President