North Bay has three large groups currently experiencing labour issues. Hospital workers, including many nurses, have recently been cut from the North Bay Regional Hospital. Though they are not legally permitted to strike, the Ontario Nurses’ Association joined the rally in North Bay to remind us that quality health care in Ontario is declining.
The workers of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) are currently locked out by their Employer. The Members of UNIFOR are calling on the government to stop hiring scab labourers and negotiate a fair deal.
Finally, the full-time faculty members of Nipissing University are striking over issues of governance, complement, and compensation. NUFA is calling on their Employer to return to the negotiating table to reach a fair and equitable deal for its Members.
On Friday morning, all three groups met outside the site of the ONTC.
Eventually, we arrived at the office of Provincial Member of Parliament, Vic Fedeli. Chants rang out through the city calling on him to stand up for workers in North Bay.
Speeches were made by representatives of the three major unions in attendance. Well known labour advocate, Henri Giroux, MC’d the event.
MPP, Vic Fedeli, addresses the crowd. While many deeply doubt his support for labour generally, he does believe in North Bay and promises to push Premier Kathleen Wynne to bring labour unrest to an end.