Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

May 14, 2009 12:24 ET

OPSEU: Niagara Parks Commission Workers March to the Falls to Protest Cut in Hours

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2009) - Niagara Parks Commission workers will march to the Falls on Sunday to protest the Commission slashing their hours.

About 1000 seasonal employees have had their hours reduced from 44 or 40 hours a week to 37.25 hours, resulting in an average pay cut of 6.25 per cent.

The workers say the Commission's cost-cutting move has dire consequences not only for their own financial situations; seasonal employees earn barely more than the poverty threshold, but also for conditions in the parks.

"The decision to cut hours is making an already bad situation worse," said Bill Rudd, president of Local 217 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. "The grass isn't being cut, gardens aren't being tended and service in the restaurants is not at the standard it was before."

When: Sunday, May 17

What time: 10 a.m. - 12 noon

Where: Workers will assemble near Dixon and Adelaide, march through
the park, arriving at the Falls near Table Rock restaurant at
around 12 noon, where federal and provincial politicians and
other dignitaries have been invited to address the crowd.

The employees affected by the cut in hours range from maintenance workers who look after the Commission's 1,720 hectares of parkland to the servers in the parks' five restaurants. At the same time, many managers at the Commission are on Ontario's "Sunshine List" of public sector employees earning over $100,000 a year.

The march is being jointly organized by OPSEU Local 217, representing parks maintenance and kitchen staff, and Workers United Local 2347, representing restaurant servers.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Local 217
    Bill Rudd