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USW supports CUPE education workers in historic strike action

November 8, 2022 | News Articles
Image: A group of people standing up in a crowd.

USW District 6 Director Myles Sullivan stood shoulder-to-shoulder with union leaders across the province for an extraordinary event that marked the end of historic strike action by 55,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Nearly four days into the strike, the government was compelled to repeal its disastrous Bill 28 and return to the bargaining table with the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU – CUPE). The determination of CUPE members and the solidarity shown by the broader labour movement helped push the government to walk back its affront on workers’ rights.

“Workers used their collective power and solidarity to take on bullies like Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce and won,” said Myles Sullivan, District 6 Director.

On Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, despite the threat of crushing fines, education workers in the public, Catholic, English and French school systems across the province took bold strike action, standing up against Bill 28, which infringed on Charter rights.

CUPE members and labour activists turned out to numerous actions and pickets across the province, showing their anger at the bullying behaviour by the province.

“Steelworkers across Ontario showed up to various picket lines to support CUPE’s education workers and to defend the collective bargaining process. Together, working people stood up and fought back against this government’s appalling attacks,” added Sullivan.

Bill 28, which included the Notwithstanding Clause, was hastily introduced and then forced through by the Ford government. The bill undermined foundational rights and freedoms, violated workers’ constitutional right to freely collective bargain and pre-emptively deemed a strike illegal and ended negotiations.

[See our response to Bill 28.]

Steelworkers and the labour movement alike understood Bill 28 to be an attack on all unions and the workers they represent. We were proud to work hand-in-hand with CUPE, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and OFL affiliates to force the provincial government’s hand to repeal the legislation and get back to the bargaining table.

CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions will be going back to the bargaining table and Steelworkers are here to support them in communities across Ontario!

District 6 Director Myles Sullivan with CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

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