CAW Denounces Province's TTC Essential Service Legislation

February 23, 2011, 10:35 AM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is calling the proposed provincial legislation to declare the TTC an essential service deplorable, offensive and entirely unnecessary.

"The right to withdraw one's labour is one of the few points of leverage workers and the unions that represent them have to negotiate fair terms of employment," said Lewenza. "It is a crucial tenet of labour relations in this province."

"If the province actually cares about labour peace, this is the worst way of going about it," said Lewenza. He called the legislation an attack on the right to collective bargaining. Furthermore, he said the proposed legislation sets terrible precedence for future dealings with the conservative Toronto mayor, who has already clearly articulated a desire to take on the city's unions, without the least provocation. 

Lewenza also voiced his concern about what this legislation could mean for other municipal services, including transit in other Ontario cities.

Additionally, Lewenza said that because the Amalgamated Transit Union has pledged not to go on strike in this set of talks, the intention of the legislation, requested by Mayor Rob Ford, is not avoiding work stoppages or an inconvenience to the public, but to gag unions representing city workers.

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