FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 12, 2001
Homes First workers
rally Wednesday, June 13
TORONTO – Staff at Homes First Society will rally Wednesday, June
13, in support of their union bargaining team, and to condemn the
Harris government’s housing policies. They will be joined by housing
advocates and labour supporters.
The rally will take place outside Homes First Society’s
administrative offices, 95 Wellesley Street East (near Jarvis)
from noon to 1 p.m.
The workers, members of OPSEU Local 540, will be in a legal strike
position June 20. They are administrative, property maintenance, and
supportive housing workers. At issue are benefits, scheduling, and
"Our wages have been frozen for seven years, and we’ve been
without a contract for three years," said Local Mobilizing
Committee member Dan Arsenault. "Homes First has been exploiting
our commitment to the tenants by ignoring our modest
demands. Now we’re at a crisis point – enough is enough."
Speakers will link the bargaining impasse with Homes First to the
disastrous policies of the provincial government. Likening the Tory
attacks on housing to the Big Bad Wolf, a street theatre piece will
feature the Harris Wolf.
Homes First staff coordinate and provide support services in
thirteen apartment buildings, for tenants making the transition from
homeless shelters, and in three transitional housing projects,
including StreetCity, for the hard-to-house.
"The city’s most vulnerable people are being squeezed in
every direction - by direct cuts to income, by cuts to badly-needed
services, and by undermining the livelihood of those who deliver
them." said Arsenault. "These cuts mean more people end up
on the street, and the lack of affordable housing means they stay
– 30 –
For further information:
Dan Arsenault (416) 395-0906
Nick DiSalle (416) 593-1116, ext. 234
Lisa Walter (416) 593-1116, ext. 227