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Press Release

Rossi must resign over offensive '1-percenter' tweet: OPSEU

Publication Date

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 1:00pm

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Rocco Rossi should resign as President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce after posting an offensive tweet ridiculing people who work hard every day to keep the province running.

On New Year’s Eve, Rossi posted photos of expensive champagne and caviar canapes with the tone-deaf caption: “Celebrating New Year’s the 1-percenter way! Let them eat cake:-)”

Amid a massive public outcry, he deleted his Trump-like tweet and issued a half-baked apology, claiming his comments were meant to be “satirical.”

“An apology – if you can even call it that – isn’t enough. This fat cat has shown his true colours,” Thomas said. “He was instrumental in getting the Ford government to freeze the minimum wage and eliminate mandatory paid sick days for Ontario’s lowest-paid and precariously employed workers. Rossi’s tweet is absolutely shameful and he should be shown the door.”

Bragging about eating caviar and drinking champagne while insulting low-income workers is beyond the pale, said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. It’s bullying, pure and simple.

“I talk to people every day who are struggling every day to make ends meet. They make a huge contribution to Ontario’s economy and Rossi has just slapped them in the face,” he added.

“He colluded with Ford to claw back important benefits that would help lift families out of poverty, just so CEOs like him can reap even bigger bonuses.”

If Premier Doug Ford is really “for the people,” he should publicly condemn Rossi’s comments and sit down with OPSEU to get the province on the right track, Thomas said.

“We have the expertise and knowledge to give Ford better advice than Rossi, who clearly has no idea what frontline workers are all about,” he said. “Premier, it’s time to give us a call.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931