UPDATE: OPSEU Local 546 has ratified their first collective agreement and appreciates the solidarity shown by the labour movement across Ontario.
In Ontario, people are supposed to be able to join a union and work with respect and a fair contract. But Premier Ford nearly made that impossible for the safety inspectors and support staff who work for the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). These workers needed your help to end their strike and get a first contract, and they got it.
OPSEU 546 members check to make sure that vital public safety is being protected – elevators, escalators, propane facilities, boilers in schools and hospitals, amusement rides and much more. For a long time, they didn’t have a voice at work – but last year we got fed up with their conditions, and we joined a union. For months they were trying to bargain a first contract and on July 21st were forced out on strike.
The TSSA is a provincial agency, but Doug Ford did little to get their CEO to bargain in good faith until your pressure and that of the striking safety inspectors forced his hand. Public safety is a provincial responsibility and the Premier couldn't hide behind TSSA forever and pass off his responsibility to keep Ontarians safe.
On October 6th, OPSEU Local 546 negotiated a tentative first collective agreement. On October 8th, their membership ratified that agreement. Congratulations to the safety inspectors of OPSEU Local 546.
You will find more background information here: OPSEU media release
Solidarity and TOGETHER WE WILL!
SUNRISE PROPANE EXPLOSION – 14 YEARS AGO – THIS IS WHY SAFETY MATTERS
On August 10th, 2008, a massive explosion took place at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases propane facility, located in Downsview near Keele and Wilson Avenue. The blast killed one worker, and caused thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes. A firefighter died of cardiac arrest the next day working at the scene.
The explosion also caused the closure of parts of Highway 401 for most of the day. Emergency crews feared another major explosion as two rail tankers continued to burn for hours. The disaster cost nearly $2 million to clean up, half of which was paid by the province of Ontario. The company was illegally transferring fuel and kept ignoring stop work orders from the TSSA.
Sunrise was a terrible lesson in why safety standards are vital to us all.
That is why it is so important that the safety inspectors of OPSEU Local 546 finally have a first contract with the TSSA. Ontario’s safety inspectors wanted to be on the job, not on a picket line. Each day carried unacceptable risk.