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Leaders of OPSEU and an Australian health care union sing the praises of the We Own It! campaign and its 28 member organizers

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida with Australian labour leader David Perry.

In a ceremony last night near Port Stanton, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida celebrated the talents and achievements of the 28 OPSEU member organizers who will soon be at the heart of the We Own It! Campaign.

“Your board members wouldn’t have picked you if they didn’t think you had the drive and talent to make this campaign a success,” Thomas told the 28. “Fighting privatization is a big fight, but it’s a fight we’re going to win.”

“This campaign will give us the chance to shape the Ontario we all want,” said Almeida. “The 28 of you are right on the forefront.”

Last night’s ceremony capped a week of workshops and information sessions about community organizing. Throughout the week, the 28 members learned some of the tried-and-true strategies, tactics, and tradecraft that have been used successfully by countless other issues based campaigns around the world.

Participating throughout the week was an Australian trade unionist named David Perry, who is a member of his country’s Health Services Union (HSU). During last night’s ceremony, Perry announced that his union has decided to launch a We Own It! Campaign of its own.

“So much have I been impressed by this campaign that we’ve decided to rename our own fight against privatization to We Own It,” said Perry to loud applause. “Privatization is a global phenomenon and we have to fight it as a global force.”

“It’s a long fight. It’s an important fight. It’s a fight we’re going to win.”