Corey David, Socialist Action candidate for City Councillor for Scarborough Agincourt speaks at solidarity picket with Tropicana Community Services workers.
Sisters, brothers, comrades and friends, my name is Corey David. I’m here to express genuine and militant solidarity with workers on strike against the Tropicana bosses.
I am the socialist candidate in the Scarborough-Agincourt by-election for City Councillor. I represent Socialist Action in this election. And I want to represent you. Not just today, but every day. Your demands are just, and your work is vital. It is shameful that management refuses to recognize that reality and refuses to negotiate a decent collective agreement at the table. But if the bosses fail to recognize reality inside, we are here to teach them a lesson on the street. Who has the power? Workers have the power! The workers united can never be defeated!
Tropicana workers provide front-line services everyday to Scarborough residents who are in the greatest need, in particular those from the black community. Employment services, child care, connections to education and skills training, crisis intervention into addiction, mental health, and social assistance needs.
All those problems stem from the capitalist system of exploitation, inequality, racism and injustice. Those problems will never be solved for workers under capitalist rule. But we can, as workers, make progress. In the words of Solidarity Forever, “We can gain our freedom when we learn that the union makes us strong”.
Tropicana staff give it their ‘all’ every day to help members of the community. What does the employer give? Not a single pay raise in 15 years! The bosses fill their own pockets with gold while they put coal in the stockings of their employees. As a socialist, I say “Give Tropicana workers the raise they deserve, and protect it with an automatic cost of living increase!”
After 15 years of neglect and mistreatment, the workers of Tropicana bravely organized and went on strike. That step was not taken lightly. And what did the employer do? The employer hired strike breakers to steal the jobs of their dedicated, experienced staff! This is beyond shameful for a so-called “non-profit” agency. Socialist Action says “Outlaw scabs and strike breakers, everywhere and forever! A picket line means “DO NOT CROSS”.
This struggle is real for me. I am 25 years old. I am a machinist in a non-union plant. I live in Scarborough. Together, we are trying to survive during a vicious pandemic. Many workers are sick and dying. Many face eviction and hunger because they cannot pay rent and grocery bills. But not everyone is in the same boat. Some are traveling first class and sipping champagne. Big landlords, owners of the retail giants, the telecoms, energy firms, drug companies, and the big banks are reaping billions in profits, greater than ever before. They are squeezing workers and the poor, especially people of colour, because they can. We need to replace the bosses with a socialist democracy, with a cooperative commonwealth, where the majority rules. Where the working class rules, and we put an end to a system based on racism, sexism and exploitation of humanity and nature. I am running to be your city councilor in Scarborough Agincourt. Being a socialist means standing with workers 365 days a year, not just at election time.
This is what you can expect from me as City Councillor for Scarborough-Agincourt. VICTORY TO TROPICANA WORKERS!