Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, voiced his support for Ontario’s teachers during his keynote speech at the OFL’s Power of Many Convention.
“If the Premier was to dare remember, he graduated from the public school system,” Yussuff said. “We will mobilize this province like we’ve never done before. We did it with Mike Harris and we’ll do it one more time.”
Yussuff told the gathered delegates, which include members of Ontario’s teachers’ unions, that they have the support of the entirety of Canada’s labour movement in their fight against damaging cuts to education in the province.
During his speech, the CLC president also made a tribute to outgoing OFL President Chris Buckley, who is retiring this year.
The CLC is currently looking forward, towards working with a new minority Parliament in Ottawa to make gains for the labour movement, Yussuff said. Priorities for the Congress include the implementation of national pharmacare and a $15 minimum wage for workers under federal jurisdiction.
“My friends, roll up your sleeves, this is our moment,” he said. “Every generation has had to fight for the next. We can lay the foundation for our children.”
Across Canada about four million workers make $15 per hour or less, with women disproportionately represented in these low-wage jobs.
Progress at the federal level is even more important now, as we see erosion of rights in several provinces, including Ontario.