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Voter suppression tactics surface in Providence Care union vote

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Kingston – Unidentified callers are telephoning workers at Providence Care in a bid to prevent them from casting their ballots in union representation votes this week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has learned.

Scores of staff in the Service and Clerical bargaining unit have received multiple calls from what appear to be “cloned” OPSEU numbers telling them they do not have to go to a polling station to vote, but can vote online or by phone instead. This is untrue.

“These kinds of dirty tricks have no place in Ontario and no place in Kingston,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of OPSEU. “We want to make it crystal clear to all Service and Clerical staff and all Registered Nurses at Providence Care that the only way to vote for your union is to vote in person.

“I urge all staff in both bargaining units to get out and exercise their right to vote.”

OPSEU has posted official voting times and locations online at www.local431.org.

Hundreds of Providence Care staff in two separate bargaining units are voting to choose their union at the hospital. In the Registered Nurses unit, OPSEU and the Ontario Nurses’ Association are on the ballot. In the Service and Clerical unit, staff are choosing between OPSEU and the Washington, D.C.-based Laborers’ International Union of North America.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931, smokeythomas@rogers.com