/R E P E A T -- MEDIA ADVISORY - Homes First information picket Dec. 13 to expose intimidation and replacement workers at housing support agency/

TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Workers at Homes First - a City of Toronto-funded agency that provides services to formerly homeless people seeking permanent residences - will stage an information picket on Dec. 13 to draw public attention to the tactics used by management to intimidate staff through the presence of security guards and the use of replacement workers.

More than 100 staff at Homes First have been working without a contract since the previous one expired Dec. 4. Since then, management has contracted security guards to watch over the staff and has hired low-paid temporary workers even though they are duplicating work already provided by regular staff.

In some cases the security guards are posted outside the residences to which the formerly-homeless clients have been assigned creating a climate of intimidation, said Kathleen Demareski, a staff representative for members of Local 540 represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Home First has 16 locations in the City of Toronto, mostly in the city centre. Demareski said since the City is a major funder of Homes First, city councillors representing the wards affected by the labour dispute must become involved and demand that management remove the security guards and temporary workers. The union has filed an unfair labour practice charge at Ontario Labour Relations Board against Homes First.

Those councillors include: Michelle Berardinetti (Scarborough-Southwest), Pam McConnell (Toronto Centre-Rosedale), Adam Vaughan (Trinity-Spadina), Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre-Rosedale), Cesar Palacio (Davenport), Mike Layton (Trinity-Spadina), Ana Bailo (Davenport), Joe Mihevc (St. Paul's)

Home First workers and supporters to demonstrate Dec. 13 against workplace intimidation and presence replacement staff

Time:    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Date:    Thursday Dec. 13
Homes First
90 Shuter St. (Queen St. & Jarvis St.)
More information:   Kathleen Demareski, OPSEU Staff Representative, 416-443-8888 ext 2484   




For further information:

Kathleen Demareski, OPSEU Staff Representative, 416-443-8888 ext 2484

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