ETFO condemns provincial bill to make TTC an essential service

Move is a political pawn played out at the expense of workers' rights

TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has condemned the Ontario government's Bill 150, which would make the TTC an essential service. It says that the move is a political pawn being played out at the expense of workers' rights and freedoms.

"This bill is not about an essential service or potential strike, it's a political move to appease Toronto voters who put Mayor Rob Ford into power," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "By removing the right to strike of thousands of workers in this province, the government is turning its back on collective bargaining rights that are one of the few supports protecting workers during these tough economic times."

Hammond says the very fact that a promise by the Amalgamated Transit Union President not to strike during the next round of negotiations was ignored, is evidence that there's another agenda in the government's decision to make TTC an essential service. 

"We cannot let the rights of workers be impinged in any sector just because a mayor or a political party decides to ride out a troubled economy on the backs of working people," added Hammond. "We know very well that the current economic woes occurred because of some unscrupulous individuals in the global financial sector, and that more impending corporate tax cuts are the problem, not unions or the collective rights they have won for people."

Along with publicly opposing Bill 150, ETFO will join the Day of Action being planned by the Ontario Federation of Labour on April 9, 2011 to stop the targeting of working people whose rights are protected by unions.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.    

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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