Strong show of solidarity at Homes First info rally
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December 17, 2012
More than 80 enthusiastic Homes
First workers and their supporters crowded the sidewalk outside the agency’s
head office on Shuter St. last week in a demonstration of solidarity against
the hostile labour tactics displayed by management during contract
They called on management and the
board of directors of Homes First to stop using intimidation tactics like
posting security guards outside the residences of the clients served by
staff, represented by OPSEU Local 540. They also demanded Homes First stop
using temporary personnel who only duplicate the ongoing work of the
agency’s workers who provide supportive housing services to those seeking
their first permanent residences.
Joining Local 540 on the
information picket were members of CUPE Local 4308 working at Central
Neighbourhood House and activists from the Ontario Coalition Against
Poverty, who have been involved in actions against planned cuts to the
Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit program which provides one-time
housing grants to people on social assistance.
John Cartwright, president of the
Toronto and York Region Labour Council, and Sid Ryan, president of the
Ontario Federation of Labour, also delivered greetings to the crowd. They
spoke about the global resistance to the austerity agenda adopted by
right-wing governments and the struggle to achieve a living wage in Ontario.
Lin McInnes, chair of Local 540’s
bargaining team, urged the public to contact eight city councillors
responsible for monitoring Homes First in their wards and demand that they
investigate the conduct of management. The union has filed an unfair labour
practice charge with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
OPSEU Staff Representative
416-443-8888 ext 2484