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“Because CUPE Ontario stands in solidarity with hospital workers,” CUPE Local 1548, representing over 200 hospital workers at the Victoria Hospital in Renfrew, voted yesterday to stand in solidarity with CUPE Ontario and affiliate with the campaign and political arm of CUPE.

CUPE 1548’s decision is a direct result of a motion passed by OCHU locals at a recent conference in Kingston that all OCHU locals currently not affiliated to CUPE Ontario should do so “because CUPE Ontario stands in solidarity with hospital workers.” Local 1548 is the first to fulfill that pledge. While many OCHU locals are affiliated to CUPE Ontario, some are not. Until February 26, 2008, CUPE 1548 was one of those.

CUPE Local 1548 affiliation reciprocal solidarity

CUPE Ontario has championed the right of hospital workers to access the National Strike Fund for political strikes. While hospital workers pay into the strike fund because they don’t have the right to strike, they can’t access the strike funds like other CUPE locals that do have the right to strike. CUPE Ontario has supported hospital workers’ right to access the strike fund for political strikes.

“The conference motion and this decision to affiliate by Local 1548 sends a clear message that the hospital sector will oppose any attempt to weaken CUPE Ontario,” said OCHU President Michael Hurley.

More locals affiliate to CUPE Ontario

In addition to CUPE 1548, in the past few months, several other CUPE locals have affiliated to CUPE Ontario. This is in advance of a major CUPE Ontario affiliation drive. That campaign emphasizes CUPE Ontario’s role in taking on and winning political fights that improve conditions for better wages, job security, and working conditions.

“So many issues coming up at bargaining tables are a direct result of bad government policies including privatization, cutbacks, restructuring and underfunding of public services,” says CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. “If we are collectively to make real gains at the bargaining table, we need to take on those political battles. As more locals affiliate to CUPE Ontario, we gain the strength, power, and political clout to win real gains for our members. Solidarity works.”

Affiliation – Join Us! CUPE Ontario: Building Strength. Power. Political Clout.