Fifty-five thousand education support workers, members of CUPE Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, took mass strike action, labelled illegal, on Friday, November 4th after the Ontario Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford passed Bill 28.
We were 30 minutes away from a call for a general strike. 30 minutes. RankandFile leaked it, and militants with exec positions in large unions confirmed — at 10 a.m. on Monday, November the 7th, multiple large unions with the backing of the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress were going to announce a general strike. This is the story of how we got to that point. Hosts Emily and Daniel recount that events that led this labour movement to precipice of historic mass job action — the OSBCU strike, Bill 28, and OPSEU solidarity wildcat actions. They are joined by Julius Arscott, a three-term OPSEU SEFPO Executive Board Member and 2021 candidate for President of the Canadian Labour Congress, who shares what happened behind the scenes and why a general strike is closer than in a very long time.
On Saturday, November 5th, numerous Indigenous activists and land defenders, along with settler allies, took part in a nation wide demonstration in solidarity support for the people of Wet’suwet’en.
Opposition to the bully tactics of the Ontario Conservative government is growing. Premier Ford's Bill 28, which not only bans a strike by 55,000 school support worker but imposes a wage settlement without arbitration or any further negotiation, is an outrage to millions, including most of the labour movement inside and outside Ontario. On November 4, well over 10,000 people rallied at Queen's Park, and marched repeatedly around the provincial legislature in defiance of the Draconian law. A wide range of unions and other working class organizations came to the defense of CUPE-Ontario and the right to strike. This included LiUNA, which had endorsed Ford and the Tories in the June 2, 2022 provincial election, UNIFOR, the largest private sector union which is outside the CLC, and a host of other labour bodies.
The democratic right to strike is at stake as confrontation escalates between 55,000 Ontario school support workers and the Conservative government of Doug Ford. Rallies, protests, and walk-outs are the order of the day as provincial Tories use bully tactics to perpetuate poverty wages. Socialist Action Canada and the Workers’ Action Movement urge everyone to gather at Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislature on Friday, November 4, at 11 a.m. to defend the right to strike.