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Union leaders to discuss income inequality in Ontario

Monday, January 07, 2013   by: Staff




Union leaders host Sudbury forum to put income inequality on the agenda

SUDBURY, ON (January 7, 2013) - Top elected leaders from several major Ontario unions will be in Sudbury Tuesday night to host a forum on income inequality in the province.

"The growing gap between high-income earners and everyone else is the number one economic story of our time, yet with few exceptions our politicians and business leaders are either making it worse or ignoring it altogether," said James Clancy, president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "The purpose of our forum is to engage grassroots union members and make income inequality an issue our leaders ignore at their peril in 2013."

The forum, called "The Rich and the Rest of Us," will marry the event at the Steelworkers Hall with a teleconference of union members across northeastern Ontario.

Broadcaster Andrew Nichols will moderate the discussion, which will include members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, NUPGE, the Ontario Nurses' Association, the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, the Service Employees International Union, the Society of Energy Professionals, and the United Steelworkers.

Janet Gasparini, executive director of the Social Planning Council of Sudbury, will join James Clancy as a panelist for the discussion.

"Social Planning Councils across the province have been working on poverty reduction strategies since we've existed," said Gasparini. "Talking about income inequality gets people talking about poverty in a much broader context. This is not just about poor people - it's about all of us. I'm really looking forward to the discussion."

"Growing income inequality is not an accident," said Clancy. "It is the result of deliberate public policies that have boosted corporate profits while reducing tax fairness, cutting and privatizing public services, undermining collective bargaining, driving down wages, and abandoning any notion that a successful modern province needs a modern industrial strategy. Exploring how we turn this situation around will be a key part of the conversation on Tuesday night."


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Koolaid 1/7/2013 3:43:58 PM Report

Maybe discuss the absense of mid pay jobs between steel workers and the rest of us? There are not too many jobs that offer between $14-$20.00 and the steel workers get $30.00 hr rate. So maybe the steel workers should stop crying like little itty bitty babies !!
Sleve 1/7/2013 3:46:58 PM Report

I hope they compare what the clerk stocking the Liqour Stores shelves VS what the clerk at Food Basic's gets,
Right of Centre 1/7/2013 4:13:26 PM Report

Koolaid, it is not the steelworkers, it is the union organizations. Considering how many show up for union meetings, steelworkers don't seem to much care what goes on with the union, except when at the bargaining table. I suspect it is similar with all unions.

This smells of an NDP-initiated idea.
mallet 1/7/2013 4:23:48 PM Report


Let me see, do you burn your face and freeze your butt at the same time? do you work outside in all weathers? Do you have to wear a respirator. Do you have to shower to put your street clothes on before you go home, because you are up to you eyes in grease and soot?? I have worked in the plant, and the working conditions play a large part in the wages, if not everyone would work there... Apply there if you want the $30 an hour...
Zarm27 1/7/2013 5:24:30 PM Report

I think Right of Centre is probably right on the money in regards to the NDP. While the Conservatives and Liberals are getting hit hard, it's the perfect opportunity to gather some future votes.

Also Koolaid, there are a fair number of jobs receiving that range of hourly pay. Even in this town, it just requires knowledge of a given field, or possessing skills that are required for specific tasks.
Shaggy 1/7/2013 8:30:40 PM Report


I checked this whole page and the only one I see "crying like a little itty bitty baby" is you.

Btw - The issues they are talking about affect "the rest of us" as well - your just too jealous and bitter to see that.

I think you are correct Right of Center, but just because it is initiated by the NDP does not mean the concern does not have merit.

We seem to be headed in the direction of some third world countries - full of haves and have nots - and there is always someone on here cheering for the billionaires when there is a labour dispute.

If there were not Union people making $30.00 an hour, there would be far fewer $14 - $20 an hour jobs available for others. Cheering for the demise of unions is akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Be careful what you wish for. Your children may end up working for $10.00 an hour or less, wishing they could afford a computer so they could come on here and whine about the "cry baby unions" making $15 - $20 an hour.
I'm In 1/7/2013 9:41:43 PM Report

Shaggy: Right on, if it wasn't for the unions and CCF PARTY now the NDP we would be paying for our own health, drug, dental and vision care and all jobs would be minimum wage, because all the PC's and Liberals have done in the past 15 years is cut from the working middle class. "Go ANDREA Go"
sumosah 1/8/2013 12:35:23 AM Report

koolaid is misinformed... essar maybe makes that but pays union due s to bring that down 3 or 4 bucks an hour ... the other owned steel mill dont make 30 plus an hour unless you have a trade or have been there a while and still pay union dues to bring that amount down too ... steel workers put their health andsafety on an everyday risk in these mills for midclass job ...for "mid class pay " from companies making millions of dollars ...
MikeQ 1/8/2013 7:24:13 AM Report

Last time I checked this is a steeltown with most of its entire industry revolving around Essar. It's hard to complain about their wages as the successes of the steel plants are what is the main driving force between our upward economy. I know a lot of guys who work at Essar and it's not easy, if the corporation and the union agree to what a fair wage is for these guys (and gals), then all the power to them.
frnlak 1/8/2013 11:20:12 AM Report

The contract at Essar Algoma expires this coming August first for LU2251 members. The contract for LU2274 (supervisors) comes due the following August 1. If 2251 vote to strike, 2274 is still obligated to work and visa versa the following year so the steelworks will always be maintained and operational. That being said, it is obvious that Essar Algoma has both unions by the short hairs. We will have to wait and see what corporate citizens Essar really are.
frnlak 1/8/2013 11:21:58 AM Report

The supervisors union is 2724. Sorry
Koolaid 1/8/2013 12:35:17 PM Report

Of course i am jealous. I wish i just fell into a job like that. Most of the clowns at the essar mill got thier jobs because thier dads worked there, or a friend got them in there. Not by any experience of thier own. And to the clown who said it is a hard job, ya ok I was in there a couple years ago loading a transport and they had four guys directing the crane operator . LOL
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