Has Ontario premier Ford found out that organized labour matters? As much as it might gall some Ontario voters, there were conservative members of the Ontario legislature in Labour Day parades this year. They were marching with the workers. They want you to believe they are pro-labour. They are far from pro-labour.
Conservatives such as Doug Ford know little about organized labour, its origins, its reason for continued existence or its objectives. What Ford and his cronies want are the votes of organized labour. What begs the question though is why does the Ontario government mistreat some of the largest union groups in the province?
This is where the hypocrisy is hard to take. The treatment of nurses by the Ford government is discriminatory and has been driving vitally needed nurses out of hospitals. It is hampering the efficacy of our entire healthcare system. We are not out of the pandemic yet and we have growing numbers of medical procedures becoming urgent. Hospitals are being forced to turn patients away from poorly manned emergency departments. Entire wards are without staff and they are closed.
What the Ford government has done is broken faith with the people of Ontario to provide an available, fair and competent healthcare system. And the threat to send convalescing patients to long term care facilities is risking the lives of patients without adequate medical staff and facilities at hand. And what long term care facility has the physiotherapists and equipment to get these people up and back in their communities?
And the gamesmanship continues in the education system. Some of the largest and determined unions in Ontario are the teachers and the support staff. They are in a game with the government where neither wants to be blamed for children missing any more of the education they need as they grow.
The Ontario government has insulted the first group of teaching assistants, caretakers and clerical staff with an offer of two per cent for those earning less than $40,000 per year and the others just 1.25 per cent.
Facing rampant inflation, the teachers and support staff are faced with no choice but upcoming strike votes. The first 55,000 Ontario education workers could be out on strike for Christmas.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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