Hundreds of members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada will rally on Thursday against the federal government's proposed changes to collective bargaining, health and safety and human rights. More than 550 workers from equity-seeking groups are gathered at the Sheraton Hotel for the union's National Equity Conferences. They are spending the week sharing strategies on how to resist the attacks against federal workers contained in the government's latest omnibus budget bill.
Public sector workers, often at the receiving end of personal attacks by the government, will be raising their voices to defend their negotiated equality rights.
Alexandre Boulerice is no stranger to tough battles. A former Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) communications officer, he was elected to as MP of Rosemont La Petite-Patrie in Montreal -- a riding once solidly held by the Bloc Québécois -- as part of the Orange Wave in 2011.
Now the NDP labour critic, Boulerice has fought off criticism from the Conservative party that he’s not a patriot. Their accusation stems from a blog post written in 2007 where he described WWI as "a purely capitalist war on the backs of the workers and peasants."
For decades young workers have faced challenges getting a foothold in the labour market. In recent years, the austerity agenda has magnified these challenges and hit young people in Ontario particularly hard. In April 2013, youth unemployment in Ontario was sitting at 17.1 percent, compared to 6.1 percent for those 25 and over.
While many young people remain un- and under-employed in temporary short-term positions, the conversations needs to continue and concreate solutions need to be made.