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Put Chris Buckley on Premier’s Workforce Panel, OPSEU’s Thomas says


TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne should appoint labour leader Chris Buckley to her new workforce advisory group, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

“It’s hard to believe the Premier struck a Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel without including a single representative of working people on it, but she did,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today. “She just insulted the entire labour movement.”

Thomas said Buckley, newly-elected President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, would provide much-needed balance to the panel.

“The panel has two reps from corporations, two from universities, and one that has no background at all in the world of work,” Thomas said. “Where’s the voice of the people?

“That’s what Chris could bring to the conservation,” he said. “He’s smart, he’s experienced, and he knows how to get things done in the real economy.”

Governments and corporations have been restructuring Ontario workplaces for decades, Thomas added. The result has been a steep drop in manufacturing jobs and a sharp rise in precarious part-time and temporary jobs with low wages and minimal benefits.

“The last 30 years of employer-led policies have taken a wrecking ball to well-paid, secure jobs in this province. The one thing we don’t need is another Liberal panel to give us more of the same.”

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Warren (Smokey) Thomas