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Conservatives facing a ‘long hot summer’ over wage cut bill

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas speaks to reporters at Queen's Park.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was widely quoted in coverage of the Ford government’s attempt to cut the wages of more than a million public sector workers, including many OPSEU members.

“They’re going to have a long hot summer,” Thomas told CBC News. “My union and others, we’ll target all those Tory MPPs and their constituency offices, all their fundraisers, all their golf tournaments, all their barbecues — we’ll screw every one of them up.”

Thomas told The Toronto Star that it’s clear the wages bill is meant to siphon off frontline workers’ wages to pay the $1 billion penaty the government is facing over its unpopular decision to break the Beer Store contract.

“Who’s he coming after next to pay for his stupid buck-a-beer and beer in corner stores?” Thomas told The Star. “This boondoggle is going to cost taxpayers. Everything he’s doing is on the backs of workers.”

The Toronto Sun quoted Thomas in two articles.

“Just about every union I think has been talking to constitutional lawyers … bargaining is protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Thomas in the paper’s news coverage. “I now turn it over to our lawyer,” Thomas said.

“They already declared war on us, this is just another front,” said Thomas in a Sun opinion column.