TORONTO – Warren (Smokey) Thomas was acclaimed Thursday to a fifth term as president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida was also acclaimed, to a third term.
In his address to about 1,600 delegates and others at the union’s annual convention in Toronto, Thomas attacked the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne for its dedication to privatization.
Opposition to the sale of Hydro One is growing, he said. “Politicians are not listening to the bureaucrats any more. Bay Street is running the government. Democracy is out the window.”
He told delegates that the union was gearing up to run its largest campaign ever to defend public services from costly and wasteful privatization.
“Are we up to the challenge? Yes! Can we beat them? Yes! Anyone who takes on working people anywhere is up against OPSEU,” he said. “We’re in this together; let’s move forward together.”
Earlier Thursday morning, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath spoke of the strong relationship between her party and the union.
She said OPSEU has done a fine job of raising public awareness about the impact of privatization on public services.
Privatization is helping the well-connected friends of the government, but it is not giving Ontario value for dollars, she said. “The $8 billion wasted on Public Private Partnerships (P3s) would be better spent on paramedics, college employees, Children’s Aid Societies, developmental service workers, child and family services, mental health services, long term care, and safer conditions in corrections facilities for workers and inmates.”
She said Wynne had no public support for the agenda of privatization.
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas cell: 613-329-1931
Katie FitzRandolph, OPSEU communications cell 506-478-8045