Labour Day 2020
Labour Day 2020 London and District Labour Council News Release
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
This Labour Day, Labour Councils and unions advocate for a crisis recovery plan with permanent improvements in social supports and jobs and a safe return to schools in Ontario
In London this Labour Day, the labour movement is calling on all levels of government to permanently improve and expand community supports and vital public services. We are demanding that governments address the millions of jobs wiped out by the pandemic and create new, better jobs with decent pay; paid sick days and emergency leave so that no one has to choose between their health and keeping their job. “We have seen the Ford government callously take away paid sick days and not even the exceptional situation of COVID-19 and greatly increased risks could move them to do what is best for public health and families who are struggling in so many different ways,” says Patti Dalton, President of the London and District Labour Council. “We must also put an end to privatized long term care which proved lethal for inexcusably high numbers of patients and workers. It is outrageous that the Ford government has actually expanded privatized health care in this pandemic era.”
Governments must also strengthen public healthcare overall and improve social supports such as affordable, public childcare and housing; diverse forms of social assistance; and improved EI for the unemployed. And as students and education workers head back into schools, the Ford government must ensure proper health and safety protocols; smaller class sizes; more funding for mental health supports; and additional custodial staff.
“The Ford government dithered the summer away without developing any substantive plan to open schools and then attacked unions when we called for measures to ensure basic health and safety for students and staff,” Dalton comments. They also passed legislation in the middle of the summer to continue to override collective agreements and promptly shut down the Legislature to avoid being held to account. They have refused to implement critical changes to prevent new outbreaks, and instead insulted the integrity of teachers and education workers who are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. “There is too much at stake for the Ford government to be so adversarial. The focus must be on the wellbeing of education workers and students,”Dalton cautions.
This year, to ensure the safety of everyone participating, the London and District Labour Council will celebrate Labour Day September 7 with an online event from 1100am to 1230pm. For further details please contact Patti Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-494-3901