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OPSEU & Unifor hold joint lobby day at Queen’s Park: building alliances in the ‘fight of our working lives’

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On Wednesday, February 20, members from OPSEU and Unifor – Ontario’s largest public and private sector unions – traveled from across Ontario to Queen’s Park to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and deliver a message to the provincial government: Ontarians deserve better, we can afford to do better, and we’re here to fight for it, together!

From left to right: Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director, Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer, Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.

OPSEU and Unifor members to Ford government: “We’re ready to ramp up the fight”

“It is inspiring to see members from both unions come together like this in solidarity,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “We care deeply about each other’s’ issues and we know that cooperation between the public and private sectors makes us stronger. We’re harnessing our strengths and preparing for the fight of our working lives.” 

From left to right: Darryl Bedford (OPSEU), Catharine Bokor (OPSEU), Teresa Armstrong (MPP), Joe Graves (Unifor), and Lisa Irwin (Unifor)

From left to right: Arlene Proulx (OPSEU), Carol Maxwell (OPSEU), Guy Bourgouin (MPP), Angie Martz (Unifor), and Makayla Jeffries (Unifor).

More than 75 frontline workers – from across the Ontario Public Sector, Broader Public Sector and the private sector – teamed up to meet with MPPs from all four political parties. Their goal: to present a shared vision for a better Ontario; one with a provincial government that defends the high-quality public services and good jobs that make Ontario the best place to live, work and raise a family.  

From left to right: Tina Faibish (OPSEU), Jessica Bell (MPP), Tammy Laporte (Unifor), Scott McIlmoyle (Unifor), and Sam Cheadle (OPSEU).

From left to right: Mike Norman (Unifor), Deb Henry (Unifor), Kingsley Kwok (OPSEU), Jill Andrew (MPP), and Attasha Jordan (OPSEU).

Members from OPSEU and Unifor connected with more than 50 MPPs, to rally support for working people’s priorities and to demand that government:

  • Stop wasting money on costly privatization schemes and exorbitant management salaries and invest in high-quality public services
  • Stop the attack on public services
  • Stop the privatization and contracting-out of public sector jobs and support good jobs and workers’ rights

OPSEU and Unifor leaders stand side by side in the fight for a better Ontario.  

Unifor and OPSEU Presidents speak at a joint news conference on February 20, 2019 about the unions’ alliance to fight the Ford agenda.

We’re here today because our unions’ members are the experts on the ground. They know what their services and their communities need; they are the people, and it’s about time that Doug Ford started listening to them, instead of railroading through his dangerous agenda of cuts and privatization. When it comes to building our communities and building a better Ontario, we’ll do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
OPSEU President

If the Ford government won’t consult with the people of this province – including the frontline workers who make our economy thrive – then we’ll deliver the message right to his front door. It’s time to invest in ourselves and our future by investing in the public services that benefit all Ontarians. We can afford to do better, and we must.”

Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer