Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

October 28, 2011 17:06 ET

Media Advisory: Ontario Federation of Labour President to Bring Canadian Support to Occupy Wall Street Rally

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2011) - Sid Ryan, president of Canada's largest labor federation representing one million workers, will be a key speaker at an Occupy Wall Street rally tomorrow, Sat., Oct. 29, at 12 noon, City Hall Park, Broadway, New York City.

Organized by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the solidarity rally will conclude with a march to Zuccotti Park to support the protesters and their demands for social and economic justice.

"In Canada, corporate greed backed by government collusion continues to deprive millions of people of hope for their future. Public services are being starved, good jobs are disappearing, poverty and homelessness are at an all-time high," said Ryan who notes that the almost unprecedented gap between rich and poor has been spawned by Conservative government policies such as corporate and personal income tax cuts that continue to benefit the elite.

Contrary to what the Canadian government has been telling the public, Canadian banks were pre-emptively bailed out with $75 billion of public money – almost the equivalent of the U.S. bail out when pegged to population size. Since the year 2000, corporate taxes have been cut ten times, dropping the combined federal and provincial rate from 42 to 25 percent. However, this massive reduction in corporate taxes has failed to live up to promises of job creation and, over the same period of time, industry investments in machinery, equipment and technology have dropped by 7.7 percent. As a result, the Government of Canada has planned annual budgetary cuts of $4 billion that will cost nearly 80,000 federal jobs. Tens of thousands more public service jobs will be lost at the provincial level.

"Canadian corporations are hoarding the massive profits reaped from government tax cuts instead of using them to put Canadians back to work. If the government is looking after corporate interests, who is looking after the public interest?" asked Ryan. "Over the last decade alone 32 percent of the wealth generated in Canada was earned by the top one percent. It is no wonder that Canadians are angry and Occupy movement that ignited in New York has spread across the border."

Ryan was a key speaker at Toronto's financial district demonstration earlier this week when unions, led by postal and steel workers, bolstered the Occupy Bay Street movement, now in its third week.

"For those struggling to pay the rent, unemployed people, those relying on public pensions, young people aspiring to post-secondary education and average people, there is no help," said Ryan. "In Canada, New York and across the globe, citizens are taking positive action to remedy a profound imbalance. Canada's labor movement is committed to supporting these new and hopeful initiatives."

Tomorrow's CBTU event is organized in conjunction with the National Action Network (NAN), A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

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Contact Information

  • OFL
    Sid Ryan
    President
    416.209.0066 (mobile)

    OFL
    Lynn Simmons
    Communications
    416.668.7480 (mobile)