Labour Day Parade in Port Elgin
Sunday, September 2, 2012 9:31 PMby
Workers don't have a lot to celebrate this year, Wind Opponents plan to rally.
(Port Elgin ) -
The Grey Bruce Labour Council and the Canadian Auto Workers are holding their annual Labour Day parade in Port Elgin on Monday.
It's turned into a Labour Day tradition -- but it took extra negotiations to keep this year's parade on the schedule.
The CAW has agreed to pay 360 dollars for extra Police officers to patrol the parade over concerns about the union's wind turbine.
The opponents of the single turbine are expected to line the parade route and later rally outside the CAW Family Education Centre.
The parade will begin at 11 AM on Monday at Home Hardware in Port Elgin, and activities will be held at the CAW Centre after 1 PM.
This year's parade will also have an uneasy feeling because of job losses due to plant closures and layoffs in our region.
Jim Vance -- the President of the Huron District Labour Council -- says there is not a lot for workers to celebrate.
The Ontario Common Front -- a coalition of labour and social groups -- last week issued a report showing Ontario dead last in Canada in spending on social programs.
The OCF document also points out that Ontario is second only to BC in the increase in the poverty rate between 1981 and 2010.
Vance says the report points out an embarrassing statistic in that Ontario stands at the top of the list in providing corporate tax breaks which he says is being done on the backs of workers and the poor.
He doesn't think much of Community and Social Services Minister John Milloy's observation that the McGuinty government has created the Ontario Child Benefit and full-day kindergarten.
Milloy also says the province is working toward improving social housing and reforming social assistance.
Vance responds that Ontarians spend more on education and out-of-pocket expenses for health care than anyone else in the country.
Vance points out public sector workers contribute a large amount of revenue to the province in the form of taxes.
He feels the answer to pull out of this economic tailspin is to invest in the public sector and not to punish its workers.
Vance believes the short to mid-term future of unions is bleak mainly because of external economic factors in Europe and especially the United States.
In fact, He believes organized labour is under siege across North America.
If President Obama wins re-election in the contentious November US election Vance predicts that America's banks and major corporations will continue to hold onto their money and not contribute to any future economic stimulus.