Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

September 03, 2007 12:39 ET

Hampton's statement on Labour Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 3, 2007) - NDP Leader Howard Hampton today marched with working women and men at the annual Toronto Labour Day Parade, where he issued the following statement.

"For 135 years, workers around the world have been celebrating Labour Day, after the first Labour Day parade was established right here in Ontario. Back then, the work week was 60 hours long, and trade unions were banned. Working families had to fight for good jobs, living wages and fair working conditions.

"Today, despite huge gains for workers' rights, the struggle for fairness continues in Ontario. Under Dalton McGuinty, thousands of men and women have lost their jobs in the manufacturing and forestry sectors. Just last week, 1,000 more workers in Oshawa learned that their jobs will disappear at the end of the year. Yet the McGuinty Liberals are doing nothing to stop this crisis. They call it 'inevitable' and 'a little bit of contraction.' They say it's not important.

"Meanwhile, McGuinty is busy privatizing our health care system, putting more education workers on the chopping block, and contracting out vital public services. He's allowing scabs to steal the jobs of workers who are on the picket line, fighting for their rights. He's refusing to get rid of the "classroom fee" for apprenticeship brought in by the previous Conservative government. He's denying card-based certification for workers in all sectors. And he's refusing to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour right away - while at the same time giving himself a $40,000 raise.

"As Ontario workers celebrate Labour Day, they are looking ahead to the October 10th provincial election. That's the day when voters can save Ontario jobs, stand up for high-quality public services and make sure everyone earns a living wage. All they need to do is give Dalton McGuinty a well-deserved pink slip.

"Ontario's NDP will stand up for a fair deal for Ontario's working women and men. That means:

- Saving jobs, starting with lowering industrial hydro rates for companies that guarantee good jobs for Ontario workers.

- Raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour right away to help thousands of working families make ends meet.

- Stopping the use of scabs to take the jobs of hard-working women and men.

- Ensuring that all workers, in every sector, have card-based certification to form unions, because it's the only way to protect workers from employer intimidation and coercion.

- Scrapping unfair apprenticeship classroom fees, just like McGuinty promised to do, but didn't.

- Standing up for public services, starting with building public hospitals not private and profit-driven, fixing the education funding formula to make sure every student goes to an excellent school that's properly staffed, and supporting fair wages and working conditions for public sector workers.

"This year's Labour Day celebrations mark the beginning of a new movement in Ontario - the movement to fight for a fair deal for working families. Today, we march and celebrate. Tomorrow, we continue the campaign to save Ontario jobs, stop privatization, improve wages - and give McGuinty the pink slip."

Contact Information

  • NDP Press Office: 613-236-3613 x 2833