All employees of the six Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) West District Offices are joining OPSEU, adding more workers to a steadily-strengthening province-wide bargaining unit.
Just over two months ago, staff at the Northeast District voted to unionize. Now, with this most recent addition, OPSEU Local 525 represents well over 350 workers from LAO offices across the province.
“Solidarity is our strength,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “With every Legal Aid Ontario employee who becomes an OPSEU member, we become much more effective as we fight for workers’ rights. You can know that adding your voice will make a difference in the face of a government regime that is determined to slash public services and damage lives.”
OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas applauded the West District Offices for making the decision to join OPSEU and noted that it is not just the workers who will benefit from this, but also the people they serve.
“This is exciting news,” said Thomas. “We welcome our new members from the LAO West District, who are dedicated to providing legal services to people whose circumstances leave them vulnerable and afraid. Without services like yours, many people would be forced down a road that few can navigate alone. No one should be alone, and OPSEU promises to stand in solidarity and fight as hard for you as you do for the clients you serve.”
The West District Offices represent clients in the Woodstock, London, Goderich, St. Thomas, and Owen Sound areas.