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Toronto – July 19, 2018 – UFCW came out in force this week to join other union members, students, and concerned Ontarians in making a strong stand for civil liberties, after Doug Ford ignored the rights of striking CUPE Local 3903 members by declaring them back-to-work.
Joining UFCW and CUPE in the action were the Canadian Federation of Students, Canada’s largest students’ association, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“The right to meaningful collective bargaining and the right to strike are not political punching bags. They’re constitutional rights,” said Michael Bryant, Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), during a press conference prior to the march.
“These rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to ensure dignity and fairness for workers.”
In addition to making a stand for civil liberties, demonstrators also raised the banner for better public education by highlighting the system’s growing gap.
“Ontario universities receive the lowest per student government funding. This has led to a substantial drop in full-time professors. Sixty per cent of the teaching at York is now done by teaching assistants, graduate students and contract faculty — the members of CUPE 3903,” writes CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn in recent op-ed for the Toronto Star. “A degree is just a piece of paper — it’s what you learn earning that degree that is important. The way York’s administration manages its students learning environment has brought down the quality of that degree.”
During the march, Brother Hahn thanked “amazing” UFCW members for their support and for taking action with students, workers and proud union members to tell Doug Ford that civil liberties matter and that people in Ontario will stand, join forces and fight when basic rights are attacked.