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‘We Own It!’: OPSEU Convention kicks off today in Toronto

We own it

Toronto – More than 1,700 labour activists from across Ontario are meeting today at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to begin the annual Convention of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The union’s battle against the privatization of public services and public assets will be front and centre for the second year in a row as the “We Own It” campaign, launched last year, enters a new phase.

“Around the world, the same people who are attacking working people, and attacking unions, are attacking public services,” Thomas told delegates this morning. “The reason is simple: there is a great deal of value produced by the public sector. The work you do is valuable. The public assets we own, as citizens, are valuable.

“The ruling class wants a piece of the action, and that’s why we have people like Ed Clark, the former CEO of TD Bank, as the top economic adviser to Premier Kathleen Wynne,” he said.

“He knows how to siphon value out of public services and send it straight to his friends,” Thomas said, pointing to the provincial government’s move to privatize Hydro One and allow the sale of beer, wine, and cider in grocery stores.

Yesterday, OPSEU’s Thomas called for a “global summit” against privatization. Anti-privatization activists from Britain and Australia are guests at the OPSEU Convention this year.

Convention is the supreme governing body of OPSEU, at which delegates debate constitutional changes and a wide range of policy resolutions. Elections for the union’s top elected officers, the President and First Vice-President/Treasurer, will be held Friday morning, April 7.

Convention also features social events and award presentations. This year, the union’s top award, the Stanley H. Knowles Humanitarian Award, will be presented to Senator Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Journalists require credentials to walk on to Convention floor. Credentials are available at the registration desk.

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For more information: Greg Hamara, Communications Officer, 647-238-9933; Timothy Humphries, Communications Officer, 416-432-6907