Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

July 18, 2005 11:38 ET

Union Leader Commits $10 Million to Back Striking Energy Pros.

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Energy Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - July 18, 2005) - The 700,000-member Ontario Federation of Labour will raise 10 million dollars to be available, when needed, as a loan to the Society of Energy Professionals/International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers Local 160 on strike at Hydro One, OFL president Wayne Samuelson announced today at Queen's Park.

"This strike is about issues concerning every one of our members and I will raise 10 million dollars, to be available in loans to this union, to help them win this fight." Samuelson said today. "We are telling Hydro One Boss Tom Parkinson to read our lips and bargain now because these workers are not alone. If Parkinson can't read this message then Dalton McGuinty better, because as the single shareholder in this company he will be held accountable," Samuelson said.

Samuelson was joined by Leah Casselman, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and Tony DePaulo of the United Steelworkers Union (USW).

"Dalton McGuinty's Liberal Government just bargained with OPSEU and agreed to a fair and reasonable contract including modest wage improvements for 40,000 public servants and I believe he's obligated to ensure the same fairness when it comes to energy professionals and he should intervene to make that happen," said OPSEU president Leah Casselman who also committed to making funds available.

"Our union faces employers every day who want to force a two tier wage system and start paying young workers less and less. We will not sit by and let this happen and that's why the Steelworkers are here today to help," said Tony DePaulo.

"If Premier Dalton McGuinty thinks he can just look the other way and Hydro One will pick these workers off, he is so wrong," OFL president Samuelson said this morning. "10 million dollars will make certain that does not happen."

The Society of Energy Professionals/International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers Local 160 represents 1,000 employees at Hydro One who have been on strike since June 6, 2005. - 30 -cope343 /For further information: Dana Boettger
OFL Communications Director

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408