OPSEU Convention shines light on privatization

TORONTO, April 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Fighting privatization will take centre stage as some 2,000 delegates, alternates, observers and guests gather for this year's Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Convention. The meeting will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre April 14 to 16.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said he was looking forward to spending time with activists from the 130,000-strong public sector union.

"I love Convention," he said. "It's electrifying. You get to meet incredibly committed and energetic folks who are doing tremendous work in their locals and their communities.

"It's a great chance to see where members are at and find out what's happening in their part of the province and what's on their minds. I'm very excited."

Thomas said OPSEU, as a public sector union, could not afford to ignore the threat to public services and jobs posed by the current Ontario Liberal government's obsession with contracting out public services and selling off public assets like Hydro One.

"Privatization is all about taking money from your pocket and putting it into the pockets of the rich – public money going to private interests," said Thomas. "It's only by mobilizing our members and engaging the public that we're going to protect the high-quality public services that are the bedrock of Ontario's success."

But fighting privatization is just one battle OPSEU is waging, he said.

"We're standing up for strong public services, we're fighting for safe and healthy workplaces, we're working for a more equitable society, and we're organizing new members.

"We're also saying no to the gender wage gap. For the Wynne Liberals, privatization is the biggest and most profitable game in town. But it's a game rigged against working people, especially women in the public sector. We're going to shut it down.

"Wait till you see us come out of Convention," Thomas concluded. "I've been around this union since the 1970s, and I've never seen us so active, and so effective, on so many fronts.

"We're going to rock and roll."

SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information: Timothy Humphries, A/Communications Officer, OPSEU, 416-432-6907; Christina Mitonidis, A/Communications Officer, OPSEU, 416-807-2427


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