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Mississauga rallies to save its ServiceOntario office

Mississauga, Ontario – Residents, merchants, and union members will rally today to save the only full-service, publicly operated ServiceOntario outlet in Mississauga.

Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Place: ServiceOntario centre, Westdale Mall, 1151 Dundas Street West, Mississauga

Workers at the Westdale office were informed in May that their ServiceOntario centre would close in October, but after public outcry the Liberal government announced it was “reviewing” the decision. Local Liberal MPP Harinder Takhar (Mississauga-Erindale) is on record as opposing the closure.

“The announcement that the government is reviewing the closure is not the same as a firm commitment to keep it open,” said Ken Burns, president of Local 546 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. “It’s important to keep the pressure on the government and keep public services in Mississauga.

“This is the only full-service publicly run ServiceOntario outlet in a city of 700,000 people,” he said. “There is no reason the people of Mississauga should have to drive to Brampton, Etobicoke, or Oakville to get basic public services.”

The nearest privately-run ServiceOntario outlet is currently on strike, Burns noted. Members of Teamsters Local 938 at the Hurontario location, where frontline staff are paid $11.25 an hour, walked off the job this month.

“Today’s event is part of the fightback to save ServiceOntario outlets in nine communities across Ontario,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Every community whose office is on the chopping block is fighting back, and it’s working. We can save these public services. We just need to keep the pressure on.”

Jim McDowell, president of the Peel Region Labour Council, will attend today’s rally along with Myles Magner, OPSEU Region 5 Vice-President, other OPSEU members, local merchants, and Mississauga residents.

For more information: Ken Burns, 519-770-5300; kenburns546@gmail.com

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