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There is nothing more democratic than workers standing up for the right to good jobs, strong communities and good government public policy.
This is why it is important for Ontario CUPE members to show visible solidarity for our auto worker brothers and sisters as they stand up to General Motors (GM) to defend their jobs and the local economy of many Ontario communities where CUPE members provide quality public services.
I am encouraging CUPE members who are able to join CAW 222 members for a rally on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 12:00 noon at the GM truck plant in Oshawa (south east corner of Park Rd. and Wentworth).
The blockade began over a week ago after the recent announcement by GM that it was closing the Oshawa truck assembly plant (one of the most productive operations in North America) by 2009, and putting 2,600 auto workers out of work.
The plant closure announcement came just two weeks after GM negotiated a new contract with the union premised on a commitment to future vehicle production at the plant.
While GM is following an amoral, corporate cutthroat approach focused on protecting shareholder profit, it is the complicit and reprehensible behaviour of the federal and provincial government that is most appalling.
The federal government’s failure to develop a national strategy to sustain manufacturing jobs and outright discouragement of business investment in Ontario has hurt many Ontario families over the last few years.
The McGuinty Liberals have also failed Ontario families by handing out $235 million in public money to GM with no strings attached to keeping jobs in Ontario communities.
I have joined CAW 222 members and their local leadership at the GM blockade on several occasions and am asking CUPE members, particularly those in the Durham Region and the GTA, to support the rally Thursday.
(Original signed by)
Patrick (Sid) Ryan
CUPE Ontario President