By Michael Berthelot
On our own from nine to nine,
Working the press till the ink runs dry.
Ragged and exhausted, no hope in sight,
Until together combined, one force, one fight.
Nine to nine to nine at most,
In 1872, Toronto united, and a new epoch to toast.
A long time ago, and a battle won,
But unbeknownst to most, a war just begun.
Thomas said it was “ironic, but not funny” that the government had passed Bill 148, which improves certain labour standards, “just a few days after it had walked all over the Charter rights of more than 12,000 workers.”
“When working people . . . say what they need, they have the power to get it. Bill 148 is a significant step forward for workers’ rights, and I think every union, community group, and individual who helped make it happen should take a bow.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"Battling climate change will not only create thousands of good jobs for Albertans, it will also improve our communities. For these reasons, climate change is a core issue for HSAA/NUPGE.” — Mike Parker, HSAA President
Be bold. Be creative. Be heartfelt. And tell us why unions matter to you!
"This is an exciting time for British Columbians, but also for people across the country who are fighting for quality public services, good jobs, labour rights and overall fairness. We look forward to the government's progress and becoming a progressive voice at the national level." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“Regarding the labour provisions, it’s a step in the right direction to see that the U.S. government is promoting core ILO standards such as the right to collective bargaining. And the proposal that labour and environmental standards should be enforceable is also a positive development. But the other language makes the burden of proof too high, and the scope too limited. No labour violation complaint would ever be successful if violations of labour rights must be proven in a ‘sustained or recurring’ manner, and the environmental provisions offer no objective standards to enforce. And all these obligations should not merely apply in a manner affecting trade or investment.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"If you ever wanted to see the strangest bed fellows, you would just have to look at the opposition to the Conservative legislation. From the NHL's Players' Association, to the Canadian Bar Association, to academics, accountants, labour and business people, we all knew that this legislation was undemocratic, undermining and unnecessary."— Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“It affirms once again that workers’ right to unionize and take part in collective bargaining is a right protected by the Charter, and it lets governments know that violating that right comes with a price tag." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President