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CUPE takes action against Ford government's funding cuts

Last Updated Sep 9, 2019 at 12:10 pm EST

Canada’s largest union is targeting the Ford government in a new campaign, which is aimed at stopping funding cuts that could hurt local communities.

The president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Fred Hahn, announced the province-wide campaign called ‘Communities Not Cuts’ at Queen’s Park on Monday.

“This campaign will bring public sector workers from CUPE to work with others in communities together to fight back against the all-out attack on Ontario public services,” Hahn said.

Hahn said some of the union actions could include petitions, putting pressure on MPPs, funding other like-minded groups, as well as strikes.

“[It will] be an aggressive multi-year campaign, where our members will ramp up their work with others. The goal is to keep fighting back to build resistance against this agenda, to apply pressure to reverse this attack, right up until the day three years from now … we will all work together to send the Ford Conservatives packing.”

This past weekend, CUPE support staff at schools were voting on a strike mandate. Regardless of what the outcome is, Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s school board council, said staff will be in legal strike position on Sept. 23.

“We could [strike], absolutely, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to. What that means is that we have done the due process that needs to happen under the regulations, that if we do need to take action we can. That maybe work to rule, for instance,” Walton said.

There is also a possibility that the union’s campaign could affect polling stations in the upcoming federal election, but officials didn’t provide further details.

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