KINGSTON, ON —/COMMUNITYWIRE/— Ontario front-line workers will hold political protests at Kingston General Hospital and the Hotel Dieu on September 8 at 11:30 a.m. to demand that their basic legal workplace rights be restored.
Affected health care, social service and other front-line workers represented by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU) and CUPE Ontario are taking part in 25 rallies across the province. They are asking that the government revoke the COVID-19 emergency orders that can indefinitely override their most important workplace rights.
“Front-line staff have sacrificed a great deal to support the people of Ontario during COVID-19,” says Michael Hurley, President of the OCHU/CUPE. “The government has declared the emergency over, yet it has stripped the most important workplace protections from this largely female workforce. For workers revered as heroines, losing the right to keep their shift schedule, to work in the same community, not to have their job eliminated without notice or their parental leaves cancelled is a terrible blow. Many of them have responsibility for child and elder care and have to be able to plan their lives. The government is disloyal to front-line workers and we trust that the people of Ontario will support us in this struggle to restore our rights.”
CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn calls the removal of workplace rights by the provincial government, “an extraordinary, undemocratic, and unprecedented abuse of power. Front-line heroes—who put themselves and their families at risk to help keep us safe and who continued to deliver critical services in a pandemic—deserve better than unnecessary attacks on their legal rights. “And we'll keep organizing and applying pressure in communities until emergency orders that impact our members' rights are fully revoked.”
In addition to the Kingston rallies Tuesday, the political protests will continue throughout September to October 2020 at PC MPP offices in, Ottawa, Stratford, Guelph, Halton, Mississauga, Cobourg, Peterborough, Oshawa, Lindsay, York, Windsor, Hamilton, Niagara, and Toronto. For rally times, locations, and updates, visit www.ochu.on.ca. Protests have already been held in Pembroke, Brockville, Cornwall, Kenora, Fort Frances, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay.
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