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Building stronger bridges: OPSEU welcomes Unifor to head office

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas with UNIFOR National President Jerry Dias

You know the rally chant: the people united will never be defeated. This year, it’s going to mean more than words according to OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas who invited a team from Unifor to OPSEU head office this week.


“We’re up against a reckless Premier with an anti-worker agenda,” said Thomas. “He’s got his corporate cronies, but we’ve got the power of the people – that is stronger.

“The year ahead is about building bigger bridges, within our union and within the entire labour movement,” Thomas said. “That’s why our friends from Unifor are here; to come together in our shared goal of defending workers and fighting for good jobs in this province.”

Members of the two unions thrashed out ideas on Thursday on how they can put into action the vision that Thomas and Unifor National President Jerry Dias outlined last month in Toronto.

The unions’ work has already started. OPSEU has been supporting its Unifor allies to demand fairness for workers at General Motors after the closure of GM’s Oshawa plant was announced.

“We’re part of a common struggle,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Whether it’s in the public sector or manufacturing – the people deserve decent jobs. It’s why we’ve got to stand up to a premier who callously casts them aside. Our Unifor friends are frontline workers just like us and their fight is our fight.

The two unions have renewed their commitment to join forces and fight-back against Ford.

“Doug Ford is anti-worker, but he should know: we won’t stand for it,” said Thomas. “We’re building stronger bridges, and we’re ready for the year ahead.”