ABRIDGED NEWS RELEASE
NATIONAL UNION OF PUBLIC AND GENERAL EMPLOYEES
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."