Union Leaders Promise Action
About 50 union leaders representing more than one million workers met behind closed doors at a downtown hotel Wednesday afternoon to discuss a possible action plan to fight back against the McGuinty governments efforts to go after public sector compensation.
The meeting was planned before the government announced it's plans to outline the proposed wage freeze of public sector workers, something the labour movement felt was an effort to take attention away from the conversation at Queen's Park surrounding Energy Minister Chris Bentley possibly being held in contempt of the legislature.
Although no plans of action were finalized Wednesday (that could happen next week when the executive of the Ontario Federation of Labour meets), labour leaders say they plan to challenge the proposed legislation in court and attempt to mobilize support for their battle against Premier Dalton McGuinty, which they promise to carry into the next election.
"A lot of leaders are saying we will not be supporting the Liberals in the next election." says OFL President Sid Ryan. "I think by the actions of this government over the last number of months they have eroded their own base of support."
Ryan did stress that wildcat strikes were not discussed and will not happened because of the labour movement's frustration with what it calls an attack on the rights of workers.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said Canadians won't stand for an attack on workers' rights.
"Workers are beaten down, they're frustrated, but I think, my fear, is that there will be a spontaneous combustion and people will start saying, 'To hell with it, let's take it to the streets,''' said OPSEU president Smokey Thomas.
(With files from the Canadian Press)