Migrant Spring and Decent Work for All - Let’s keep the momentum going!

March 21, 2024

🌷 Migrant Spring: Blooming across Canada

Last weekend, thousands took to the streets to demand full immigration status for all. Checkout this highlight video of all the actions across Canada on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

But the fight is not over yet. Join the Migrant Workers’ Alliance for Change TONIGHT for a Status For All Phone ZAP. Today (March 21) is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and we’ll be joining forces to call Immigration Minister Marc Miller and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We demand they keep their promise and deliver a regularization program that leaves nobody behind.

If you are a leader of an organization, we need you to write a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau showing why we need Status for All. The Migrant Rights Network put together a primer on how to write an original and impactful Status For All Letter to our government.

Healthcare for ourselves means Healthcare for ALL

Denying health care to anyone puts everyone at risk. But last year, the Ontario government cut access to healthcare for people without insurance, including unhoused persons and undocumented workers. This means people are being forced to choose between paying out of pocket with money they don’t have or being denied the care they need.

That’s why health providers are speaking out and are calling on Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones to reinstate access to healthcare for all.

Please watch and share this video featuring Jose who, like thousands of racialized migrants, live or work in Ontario without access to our public healthcare system because of discriminatory immigration and healthcare policies.

Watch & Share on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

⚡ We touched a nerve! Public support for LCBO workers upsets Premier Ford 

Premier Ford wants to privatize the Liquor Board of Ontario (LCBO) even though it provides over $2.5 billion in revenue that funds public services like healthcare and education. That's why LCBO workers (members of OPSEU) and the community took to the streets on March 12 to fight against any privatization of the LCBO. 

Clearly, worker and community solidarity touched a nerve with Doug Ford who was forced to respond to the protests by claiming that he "will never, ever sell the LCBO." He went so far as to accuse OPSEU members of lying. 

But what does the evidence show?

  • Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy in October 2023 penned a letter directing the LCBO to identify “efficiencies and savings through innovative practices.” 

  • And what do Conservatives mean when they talk about “efficiencies” and “savings”? In 2019, Ken Hughes, a Ford-appointed Special Advisor, had this to say about LCBO's distribution system: "It is in the interests of everybody to have a highly efficient distribution system, so there's no reason that shouldn't involve private players … I'm sure there will be players who can provide a very cost-effective distribution of products to retail outlets."

  • On the ground, OPSEU members who work at the LCBO report that the employer has already been cutting good jobs in the warehouse distribution system by giving the work to private contractors who can charge the government more for services, while paying workers less. 

Regardless of what Ford claims, we know the privatization of the LCBO is on its way – unless we unite to stop it. That’s why we’re organizing in our communities alongside OPSEU members to protect good LCBO jobs and public revenue. 

U of T workers make historic breakthroughs

At the most recent Justice for Workers organizing meeting, we celebrated the bargaining breakthroughs of workers at the University of Toronto. Five bargaining units, members of CUPE 3261 and CUPE 3902, representing 8,000 workers, built power and made historic breakthroughs in their contracts.

These wins include a $25 minimum wage for part-time workers, better health care provisions, more paid sick days, transit subsidies and better funding packages for students.

Here are 3 lessons from the U of T win:

1. There’s no substitute for worker-to-worker organizing

At U of T, CUPE members themselves chose their priority bargaining issues and built support for them by getting their co-workers to sign petitions and make their unity visible. To be sure, it is not simply names on paper that make change. Petitions are an organizing tool for political education and one-on-one organizing conversations. The goal is to bring more people into activity to fight for change.

2. Building power means building solidarity

Building solidarity among different groups of workers takes time. And it requires answering sometimes tough questions about what workers have in common and why it matters to present a united front to the employers. It means getting organized months and even years before possible strikes. Because CUPE members organized this unity in advance, the employer was forced to negotiate with all five bargaining units at the same time – something the employer had refused to do.

3. Employers are more afraid of our solidarity than we think they are

During the education workers strike in 2022, the Ontario government rammed through legislation that took away workers’ legal right to go on strike. But because we built so much community-labour solidarity, there was a real possibility of a province-wide general strike in response. Before the strike could even be announced, the Ford government backed down and canceled their own legislation.

Likewise, at the University of Toronto. The 8,000 workers were organized and ready for strike action across the campus. As a result, the employer met workers’ final demands within minutes of the strike deadline. This victory reminds us that employers, corporations and governments really do fear our unity. And it's why they work so hard to pit us against each other. 

If you’re inspired to keep fighting for decent work, there are local meetings taking place across the province and the next Ontario-wide online organizing meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00 pm. RSVP now and invite a friend to join you! 

RSVP now for the May 7 online organizing meeting

Upcoming Actions and Events

GUELPH: Organizing & planning meeting

Sunday, March 24, 2024
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
42 Carden St (across from City Hall)
Click here to register

TORONTO: Organizing Meeting

Tuesday, April 09, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Community Organizing Space, 720 Spadina Ave, 2nd Floor, Toronto
Click here to register

HAMILTON: Workshop - INFLATION: What it is and how to fight it

Saturday, April 13, 2024
10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Solidarity Place, 51 Adair St S, Hamilton
Click here to register

GUELPH: Public Meeting - It's Not Your Fault! The Mental-Health Crisis of Capitalism

Sunday, April 14, 2024
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
42 Carden St, Guelph
Click here to register

ONTARIO: Organizing Meeting (online)

Tuesday, May 07, 2024
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Click here to register

LONDON: Injured Workers Day

Saturday, June 01, 2024
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Click here to register

TORONTO: Organizing Meeting

Tuesday, June 04, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Community Organizing Space, 720 Spadina Ave, 2nd Floor, Toronto
Click here to register

TORONTO: Organizing Meeting

Tuesday, July 30, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Community Organizing Space, 720 Spadina Ave, 2nd Floor, Toronto
Click here to register