Stuffed into the 309-page Conservative budget implementation act, Bill C-4, that was tabled last month, are a slew of drastic changes to the federal labour relations system, which will affect the health and safety provisions, human rights protections, and collective bargaining rights of federal workers. As its number suggests, Bill C-4 is truly explosive.
Elevator workers are a silent army that keeps our province moving by ensuring that the 50,000 elevators in workplaces, apartments, hotels, hospitals and schools are running smoothly and safely. On May 1, 1,400 elevator maintenance workers were forced on strike by their employer, the National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA). While these workers are off the job there is a significant safety concern for the public.
The looming LCBO strike threat has suddenly gotten all sorts of Ontarians anxious about a potentially dry next few days (or weeks). LCBO workers, who are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), voted 95 per cent in favour of striking, and the deadline is approaching. Yet a strike is in no one's best interests. Now, this entire scenario would change if the availability of alcohol were to be completely diminished. This inconvenience may cause citizens to want an alternative to the LCBO in the event it is rendered incapable by a strike.
Whatever happens in Quebec happens in Quebec; it is beyond our control here in Ontario. What is alarming however, is that, as of this past weekend, Ontario students have begun to petition to bring the movement to their province. And all in the name of that often-used, deflated word "solidarity." This would be disastrous.