Unifor vows to oppose Conservative attack on Ontario public sector workers
June 5, 2019
TORONTO- In face of attack on workers’ rights, Unifor vows to mobilize and grow resistance to Conservative cuts.
“The largest threat to the future of Ontario’s public services is Ford’s Conservative Government, not workers advocating for better and safer working conditions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
“For overworked, underpaid workers in long term care homes, for paramedics, teachers, hospital workers and every dedicated public servant who keeps us safe and healthy, this Act is a disastrous and offensive slap in the face,” Dias continued.
It would force a one percent wage cap across the public sector in Ontario, including unionized and non-unionized workers, for any currently expired or expiring collective agreements over the next three years. This applies to the public service, as well as hospitals, Ornge, some long-term care homes, boards, commissions, agencies, school boards, universities and colleges, and children’s aid societies.
“This government has shown its disdain for public services and public education. First they attacked the jobs of workers in the sector, and have now turned their attention to this unilateral attack on wages,” continued Dias.
This proposed Act, if adopted, would violate a landmark Supreme Court ruling in Health Services and Support-Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia, 2007, that found that free and fair collective bargaining is a charter protected right of all people in Canada.
“Ford has been clear about his conservative agenda from day one. Every move this government makes is to help out big business, and throw hardworking people under the bus,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor’s Ontario Regional Director. “Unifor members in long-term care already campaigned for years to make their working conditions safer and to improve wages across the sector, but now any chance of bargaining better wages is being thrown into question.”
Unifor calls upon all Ontarians, working in the public and private sectors, to once again make their opposition known to MPPs and decision makers. Ontarians are participating in days of action June 7 and 8, 2019 in communities across the province, to oppose conservative cuts.
“I am expecting a long, difficult summer for Conservative politicians in Ontario,” continues Rizvi. “If one thing has been made clear in recent weeks, it’s that Ontarians do not accept attacks to our public services, and we will fight back with all the power that we hold as a movement.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.