OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 5, 2016) - After two decades of being the corporate punching bag, it's time working people in Ontario did better, said CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, speaking to the crowd gathered at the Durham Region Labour Day Picnic at Memorial Park.
"While corporations have been stockpiling billions in off-shore bank accounts people's costs are skyrocketing, workers' wages haven't come close to keeping up, retirement pensions are under attack and there aren't enough jobs to go around," said Rennick. "Corporations now pay such little tax that we're losing the public services that have made this country a fairer place to live. Making things worse, our provincial government is choosing to sell-off our public hydro system which is causing bills to sky-rocket to increase profits while they give away billions in long-term revenue that should be funding public services such as long-term care."
"Canadian workers are far more educated than at any other point in our history, yet for those with jobs, wages have stagnated, workloads have escalated and part-time and precarious work has become the norm, particularly for racialize workers and those under thirty," said Tiffany Balducci, a member of CUPE Ontario's executive board. "This is not the Canada we want."
"Labour Day is a time to take stock of how workers are doing in this province, but we also need to be thinking about those that came before us," said Rennick. "Our aging seniors spent their lives building this province yet the services they need in their final years are staggeringly inadequate. There are no minimum standards of care in Ontario's long-term care homes and staffing levels are the lowest in Canada. No one should ever have to sit alone in a room in a soiled adult diaper with no one to respond to their call for help. We are calling on the Premier to legislate a four hour a day minimum standard of care so fragile seniors can count on living out their life in dignity."
"Life should not be getting harder for most of us while a small group of elites continue to hoard more wealth than anyone could ever actually use," said Rennick. "It's time for our governments to stop bowing to the corporate agenda and start representing the needs of working people in this province."
CUPE is Ontario's community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.