One Million More Reasons to Mobilize Against Ford

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1842 ... June 10, 2019
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One Million More Reasons to Mobilize Against Ford

Jeff Noonan

The public sector "salary restraint" legislation expected by public sector union leaders was formally introduced on June 5th (Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019). I will get to the criticism in a moment. First, I have to acknowledge the Orwellian chutzpah of this government: without a climate change plan, it cheekily appropriates the language of "sustainability" and concern for "future generations." They could have topped themselves by tipping their hat to the indigenous traditions they are also ignoring by adding "seven" in front of "generations." Perhaps the next spending restraint bill can be more inclusive.

Titles aside, the bill is not about a sustainable anything, but first and foremost a... shot across the bow of public sector unions (and especially the teachers’ unions, who will be in bargaining soon). The public service has been a target for governments of all denominations (remember Rae Days, everyone)? We can be certain that, if – as I hope – we are able to mobilize a staunch defence of collective bargaining rights, the government will try to drive a wedge between public sector "fat cats" and those hard working Ontarians in the private sector for whom this "government of the people" is working so hard.

Problem is: already, 75% of "the people" think that the government is on the wrong course. We have seen an impressive mobilization of the parents of autistic children against the government’s plans to change the funding support model for their children. There has been a sizeable demonstration in support of public healthcare in response to the serious threats of privatization lurking in the government’s healthcare bill. Now, they are openly challenging 1 million broader public sector workers to put up or shut up.

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