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Local 79 reflections on May Day

As unionized workers in Toronto, we’ve faced, and continue to face, challenges from employers who want to strip away many of the rights and benefits we’ve struggled to obtain.

Governments at every level are using embellished assertions of austerity to try and turn popular opinion against public sector workers.

Here in Toronto, we saw the Ford administration announce a $774-million deficit in 2011, and use it to justify service cuts and contracting out though the service review and the 2012 Budget process. Only a half-year later, we hear the City’s posting a whopping $292-million surplus.

At the Federal level, the Harper Conservatives cited ‘austerity’ when they interfered with the collective bargaining rights of postal workers and Air Canada employees. They also changed the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to allow employers to pay migrant workers, who already aren’t allowed to unionize, 15% less than their Canadian counterparts.

As the very rich get richer and middle income earners get more and more squeezed, it’s no wonder we’re seeing levels of income inequality in Canada not seen for decades.

So let’s take this May Day to remember why we so desperately need a strong labour movement.

Toronto is known worldwide for its quality of life, thanks in large part to the public services that Local 79 members provide.

We have a responsibility as providers of these valuable services to defend them, and we want as unionized workers to support those who are fighting austerity and anti-worker agendas in other parts of Canada and the world.

Click here to read CUPE National’s May Day letter.

 

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Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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