On January 20, OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas was a guest speaker at the Canadian Stage panel for the film production of Sweat – a play about hard economic times and rising inequality.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to not just talk about equality, but to listen and learn as well,” Thomas said after the discussion. “I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to see this important play, provide insight into OPSEU’s vision of a just world, and to learn from the other panelists.”
During the discussion, Thomas spoke about the work OPSEU is doing with its equity caucuses and the value they bring to the overall social justice movement. He took aim at issues that affect poverty such as a lack of social housing and universal childcare so women can participate more fully in the workforce.
Thomas also called on governments to raise social assistance rates, and to put as much effort into people and it does big business.
The federal government’s $4.5 billion purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline, he noted, is one example where government chased popular headlines over providing money for the less fortunate.