Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 08, 2009 16:51 ET

Oshawa Launched Drive to Work Caravan

OFL wants to meet with McGuinty on June 25 when Caravan comes to Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - Today the OFL launched THE DRIVE TO WORK CARAVAN from two points in the province, Oshawa and Kenora. The 3000 km. province-wide tour is to find out how the recession is really affecting working people and their communities.

The OFL has sent a letter to Premier McGuinty today about the Drive To Work Caravan. The letter cites the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the devastating effects of the recession on working families and the place they call home.

"The economic crisis that began in manufacturing and forestry has threatened jobs since 2002 - the crisis is now widespread. Every sector of the economy is suffering. The Ontario Federation of Labour has been calling for action on this crisis for many years. The OFL has called on government to develop policies to help workers and communities preserve good jobs and public services, pension reform, to provide protection for workers when employers hide behind bankruptcy laws when they walk away from a closed plant or mill leaving the workers with nothing - not even their earned severance pay."

"The strain on workers and their communities also affects public services. During a recession we need stronger public services, now more than ever," said Irene Harris, secretary-treasurer of the Federation who will be travelling on the Drive To Work Caravan from the launch in Oshawa. "In times of recession and depression people need and depend on social services, health care, education and training programs. Now is not the time to be closing rural hospitals, abandoning a public child care system, underfunding social service agencies and programs."

"Many, many families that have been hit by lay-offs in the private sector are surviving because of other family members with a job in the public sector. Public sector jobs are making it possible for people to keep their homes, to put food on the table and keep going until more private sector jobs come back.

The OFL has joined its affiliated unions in over 50 communities across Ontario to launch the Drive To Work Caravan. "We have reached out to civic leaders, faith communities, anti-poverty groups and unemployed workers," said Irene Harris, OFL secretary-treasurer who will be travelling on the Caravan launched in Oshawa today. "All these people and communities have a story to tell and we will be gathering their stories and ideas to deal with the crisis."

The OFL has asked Premier Dalton McGuinty to meet the Drive To Work Caravan when it arrives in Toronto on June 25th. "The voices of the thousands of people that have been organizing and participating in the DRV2WRK deserve to be heard by our government."

"It's time for the real stories behind the statistics are heard - not just the numbers," the OFL said in its letter to the Premier.

Follow the progress of the DRIVE TO WORK CARAVAN on the DRV2WRK website: http://www.drivetowork.ca (RSS feeds http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Drv2wrk, twitter posts http://twitter.com/drv2wrk, Blog http://www.drivetowork.ca/blog/, Facebook community http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=84266611429 and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/DRV2WRK)

Contact Information

  • Irene Harris
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    416.347.0454 (mobile)
    OFL Communications
    Dana Boettger/Sheila Keenan
    416.443.7665 (direct) 1.800.668.9138
    Carrol Anne Sceviour
    OFL Staff, on site
    416.606.5046 (mobile)