“Thanks to everyone who came out to support these workers today. Our rally provoked the attention and support these workers deserve. Now let’s get them back to work,” said Kathleen Demareski, OPSEU Negotiator.
Toronto (22 Feb. 2013) - Close to 50 Homes First workers and their supporters braved the cold on February 20 to bring their message to Toronto City Hall. A huge banner at the entrance summed up their message for Toronto City Councillors: “Bad management: you’re paying for it.”
Workers at Homes First Society have been on strike since February 18. Their contract expired in March, 2012.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida expressed his disbelief that Homes First Society has yet to open their books. “I can’t believe there is still no transparency about the finances of this public agency,” said Almeida. “It is time for them to let everyone see what is really going on.”
“The City of Toronto provides six million in funding to Homes First. We are here to ask our City Councillors to help us get back to the table and negotiate a fair deal,” said OPSEU Negotiator, Kathleen Demareski.
Member of Provincial Parliament for Davenport, Jonah Schein, stopped by to express his solidarity with the picket, and emphasized that the workers at Homes First provide critical services for Toronto’s homeless: people who are vulnerable and in urgent need of decent housing options.
Homes First workers finished their rally with a visit to the City Council session. They were pleased that Councillors Mike Layton and Ana Bailao offered their support. Pam McConnell and Adam Vaughan also showed interest in helping to come to some resolution with the employer.
“Thanks to everyone who came out to support these workers today. Our rally provoked the attention and support these workers deserve. Now let’s get them back to work,” said Demareski.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE