Community Agencies

Homes First workers rally at City Hall in 4th week of strike

Homes First workers rally at City Hall in 4th week of strike


Homes First workers and their supporters will rally at City Hall on Friday, March 15. As their strike continues into its fourth week, they are asking for Toronto City Councillors to hold the agency to account for bad management.

Homes First has hired the notorious Labour Dispute Management Group (LDMG) to send in security guards to assist replacement workers with crossing the picket line. Workers are asking how much they are paying this firm rather than getting back to the table with a reasonable contract for their workers.

Date: Friday, March 15, 2013
Time: 12 noon to 2 pm
Place: Toronto City Hall

"Homes First has a responsibility to Toronto, and a responsibility to its workers," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "It's time for them to come back and work out a contract with their workers. Hiring security guards from LMDG is a waste of our tax dollars, and a waste of precious time."

Homes First workers returned to negotiations on March 6 to discover that the employer had only one goal: ensuring their continued use of temp agencies rather than decent shifts for their own trained staff.

"There is a critical shortage of services for the homeless in Toronto, and these people want to get back to work" said OPSEU Negotiator, Kathleen Demareski. "This agency seems to have forgotten that they are given millions of dollars by the City of Toronto. It's time for them to get back to the table with a fair contract."

The City of Toronto provides six million dollars a year to Homes First. The United Way Toronto is also a key funder. Workers have been on strike since February 18, 2013.

OPSEU has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board for bad faith bargaining.

For more information:
Kathleen Demareski, OPSEU Negotiator: 416-523-7810
Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications: 416-557-7936