Unifor members mobilized for a Day of Action as Doug Ford prepared to reconvene the Ontario legislature on October 28. Hundreds descended on Queen’s Park to protest the premier’s return from nearly five months of dodging public and media scrutiny throughout the federal election.
The Day of Action comes after Unifor members have been engaged in the Stop Ford Cuts campaign. The campaign continues to raise awareness of all the ways Doug Ford’s cuts have hurt families all across the province. His cuts are among the deepest in the province’s history. All told, Ford’s conservatives have cut the equivalent of $1,100 per person on everything from hospitals and schools to vital social and public services including water and food safety, and even vaccinations.
Ford has already undermined the province’s most vulnerable and precariously employed workers by cancelling dozens of planned improvements to the province’s labour legislation. He ended proactive workplace safety inspections, lowered fines for employers that violate the labour code, cancelled a fair minimum wage of $15 per hour, cut $16 million from the office responsible for preventing workplace deaths and injuries, and refuses to implement a regulation that would see employers that use temp agency workers held responsible for injuries and deaths on the job.
Millions of Ontarians are already feeling the effects of Ford’s cuts to social services and attacks on workers’ rights. He remains one of the least popular premiers in the country and voters resoundingly rejected conservative cuts in the recent federal election by defeating Andrew Scheer. However, with the resumption of the legislature Ford plans to enter the next phase of his attacks on the province’s workers.
In the wake of the federal election, workers across Ontario know they face their greatest challenge from Bill 124, a public sector wage freeze bill similar to those being introduced by conservative provincial governments all across Canada in a coordinated fashion.
The October 28 Day of Action demonstrated that workers will continue to mobilize and relentlessly pressure Ford’s conservatives to reverse course on his cuts to public services and plans to undermine workers’ rights.
Workers in Ontario also launched the Stop Ford Cuts campaign in September to fightback against the government’s conservative agenda. The campaign calls for an end to the government’s slashing of public services and municipal spending, and instead invest in public services that lift up all workers and ensure a brighter future for all.
The premier has been forced to backtrack on some of his planned cuts to autism programs, retroactive cuts to municipal funding, and more. With broad-based public support, and acts of solidarity like the October 28 Day of Action, workers across Ontario can win.
To learn more about the Stop Ford Cuts campaign visit stopfordcuts.ca