By a very wide margin, another group of frontline Legal Aid Ontario workers has voted to join OPSEU. After their successful organizing drive and vote, the workers from Legal Aid Ontario Northeast District will join more than 300 other Legal Aid Ontario workers in OPSEU Local 525.
“With the devastating cuts the Ford government is making to Ontario’s legal aid system, I’m not one bit surprised these workers have decided to join a strong union like ours,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “They know their work matters and that real people will suffer real pain if services are cut.
“On behalf of OPSEU’s entire Executive Board, I’d like to say congratulations. And welcome.”
OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida said that the new members can count on OPSEU for three things: support, solidarity, and strong service.
“OPSEU is strong because our union always puts members first,” said Almeida. “Whether it’s at the bargaining table, in the workplace, or on the doorsteps of the Conservative MPPs trying to slash our services, we’ll always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our newest members at Legal Aid Ontario.”
Kareen Marshall, the chair of OPSEU’s Community Agencies division, applauded the new members for taking a stand for their services.
“Day in and day out, the frontline workers at Legal Aid Ontario help the province’s most vulnerable people navigate some of Ontario’s most intimidating institutions: the courts and the immigration system,” said Marshall. “They know the value of the work, and they know it’s worth fighting for.”
Thomas urged the new members to get actively involved in their new union.
“When even a few people stand together, they can accomplish incredible things,” said Thomas. “Look at how successful the autism community has been in fighting back against cuts. The Legal Aid and legal clinic rallies that OPSEU members helped organize across the province earlier this week can accomplish the same thing.
“We just have to keep working together to fight back against Ford’s cuts. Together to Win.”