07 October, 2020 2:12 AM

Oct 7 News

In this weeks' Toronto & York Region Labour Council news: 

  • Ford: Act NOW to keep our schools open & safe
  • Delegates Demand Just Recovery for Ontario
  • Farewell, Mohammed!
  • TODAY: Join Canada’s Unions on World Day for Decent Work
  • TOMORROW: Oct. 8 Day of Action for long term care
  • “Company Town” premieres this Saturday on CBC
  • Spotlight on… Toronto Workers History Project

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The government continues to blame individuals instead of showing responsibility and leadership by implementing needed social and health measures. Premier Ford has ignored advice from medical experts such as the Ontario Hospital Association and Toronto Public Health, who have urged reverting hot spots to Stage 2.

In order for schools to remain open safely, swift measures are urgently required to suppress community spread of Covid-19.  Add your voice to call for Premier Ford to take immediate action, including:

- Return greater Toronto and Ottawa to Stage 2
- Ensure immediate, adequate, and accessible income supports for all workers affected.
- Improve in-class and remote school conditions including reducing class sizes to 15, ventilation upgrades, outdoor ed. and student supports, provide access to quality internet and devices, and funding to ensure every child has a teacher.
- Legislate decent wages and paid sick/family care days for all workers now.
- Provide affordable dignified housing for all: No COVID evictions.

It's well past time that Ford showed Ontarians he’s truly willing to do what it takes to protect and care for all of us. Join us in demanding that care and protection NOW!




The Ford government has thrown Ontario in the midst of Covid-19’s second wave without undertaking the preparation necessary to keep us safe. As schools re-open in this province without adequate staffing, physical distancing or protective measures, parents are scrambling to place their children in a safe environment – or keep their kids home for months.

So far Doug Ford is still enjoying a certain esteem from his initial response to the pandemic.  But he is using that reputation to mask the ongoing agenda that is driving more inequality, undermining public services and driving down wages. Environmental standards are being shredded, and measures for affordable housing are being rolled back. For Canadians to win new national programs, greater economic justice and real climate action, the people of Ontario will have to expose and block the Ford Conservatives attempts to sabotage these progressive measures.



Labour Council Senior Organizer Mohammed Hashim has a new job! Starting next week, he will become the Executive Director of Canadian Race Relations Foundation, based in Toronto.

We will sorely miss him as a core part of our Labour Council team. His pioneering work on equity and inclusion has immeasurably strengthened our Council and our movement. He started as labour staff with United Way of Peel Region, then worked with Labour Community Services before coming to Labour Council four years ago. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Greater Toronto, Treasurer of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and is a founding advisor of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.  We all wish him the best in the next part of his life journey.




Today, October 7th, is the World Day for Decent Work and Canada’s unions recommit to working together to build a recovery that works for you and your family. The pandemic is causing more inequality and insecurity for working people. Right now, millions of people in Canada still need our help so we have to stick together and keep moving forward together. 

Join the Canadian Labour Congress' webinar on Wednesday, October 7th to talk about a recovery that is focused on shared prosperity and sustainability.

Panelists include:

- Marie Clarke Walker, CLC
- Armine Yalnizyan, Atkinson Foundation
- Deena Ladd, Workers’ Action Centre
- Samantha Smith, Just Transition Centre
- Matt Wayland, IBEW Canada

DATE: Today, October 7th

TIME: 2:00 p.m.



People are once again dying of COVID-19, many without adequate care. We can't let what happened in the last 6 months happen again. HELP US HAVE THE STRONGEST DAY OF ACTION POSSIBLE.

Join the Day of Action to create political pressure to expose the lack of action to improve and push for an end of the for-profit privatization of long-term care.

Date: Thursday, October 8th

Time: 9:30am

Where: Outside Queen’s Park, Grosvenor St., Wellesley Ave and Queen’s Park Circle.

Watch "Message to Ford"

**New guidelines forbid groups of 25+ so the Queen’s Park rally will consist of the car cavalcade starting at 9:30 a.m. and the press conference will start at 9:45 online. We are asking people to stay in their cars and to decorate them with protest messages.

Please call Riley about the car cavalcade (647) 617-1474 or the OHC office about the car cavalcade or press conference at (416) 441-2502 ohc@sympatico.ca

For more details including plans for other cities/regions and safety guidelines visit:





"Company Town" is the dramatic inside story of the fight by the autoworkers of Oshawa to keep General Motors from shuttering its plants at the cost of 5,000 lost union jobs. For over a century, the people of Oshawa built cars and trucks for GM, but corporate greed prevailed and the last vehicle rolled off the line six days before last Christmas.

Documentary film-maker Peter Findlay portrays the anger and emotion of workers and union leaders trying to deal with the devastating impact of this betrayal. While the efforts to re-imagine a green jobs option did not come to fruition, the recent news that Ford Oakville will be producing electric vehicles is a subsequent victory for Canadian autoworkers. 

Company Town debuts on CBC this Saturday, October 10th at 8:00pm and will be available to stream on CBC Gem

It will also be featured as part of this year’s Canadian Labour International Film Festival.



Every week, we will bring you a snapshot of an initiative or organisation doing great work within our labour community. 

The Toronto Workers History Project (TWHP) is a large group of workers, unionists, professors, students, artists, teachers, librarians, educators, researchers, community activists, and retirees dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the history of working people in Toronto. They are committed to bringing to light the experiences of working people and their contributions as individuals and collectively to the building of this city, in the home, in the paid workplace, and in the community.

By making these stories available through a variety of media for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, they’re goal to educate the people of Toronto and beyond, but also to inspire activists in social-justice and labour movements with the lessons from the past for the struggles to change the world today.

Next week, join the TWHP's event chronicalling the story of Chinese Canadian workers in Toronto with Labour Council's own Jennifer Huang!




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