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GTAC Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre Trip

Saturday, July 9th
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (approx.)

On Saturday, July 9th, the Greater Toronto Area Council has arranged a tour of the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton. The cost of the trip is $20 per person and includes admission to the centre, tour, lunch and transportation to the Centre. The maximum amount of attendees is limited to 40 people and is limited to OPSEU members and 1 guest. If you would like to RSVP to join us on this outing please sign up on our event page at:  or by emailing us at: by July 4th. If you have any questions about the trip please email us at:

The Workers Arts and Heritage was conceived in the late 1980’s by a dynamic group of labour historians, artists, and union and community activists who gathered together to discuss the need for a place where workers’ history could be celebrated. In 1996, after intense work by a volunteer board of directors, the (Ontario) Workers Arts and Heritage Centre purchased the historic Custom House on Stuart Street in the north end of Hamilton. The building is ideally situated in the heart of a working-class neighbourhood.

The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre aims to preserve, honour and promote the culture and history of all working people. But we also hope to learn from the past towards challenging the future – for future generations. The contributions of working people – not only in Canadian history but worldwide – are showcased in art, exhibits, and performances. Their labour and advocacy has made this country a fair and vibrant place to live and work, and we acknowledge these struggles. Without them, Canadians would not be living in a country ranked among the best in the world.

For more information about the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre please visit:

We will leave from OPSEU’s Toronto office at 9:00 AM sharp and leaving to return at approx. 3:30 PM. The cost will be collected at the bus prior to leaving.

Welcome to GTAC’s Webpage

Thank you for visiting the Greater Toronto Area Council’s (GTAC) website. GTAC’s mandate is found under OPSEU’s Constitution Section 22.2

Section 22.2 – The purpose of a Council shall be to coordinate Union activities on a regional basis in such matters as political action, community involvement, social issues, participation in or co-operation with labour councils, education, and public relations.

GTAC is committed to building a powerful OPSEU in a powerful union movement that:

– is based on shared values and strong member engagement,
– is democratic and effective, and
works to actively challenge inequality in the workplace and society.

CETA’s failure is a win for democracy

The Canadian Labour Congress says that the European Union and Canada failed to reach a deal on CETA because negotiators failed to take the concerns of unions and civil society seriously.

“These talks failed because governments on both sides of the Atlantic chose not to seriously address the concerns we put on the table when the text first became public months ago,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.

In May 2016, the CLC and the European Trade Union Confederation issued a joint statement calling for concrete changes to CETA:

  • Removing investor courts and ISDS mechanisms;
  • Ensuring effective enforcement of labour and environmental rights;
  • Protection for public services through a “positive list;” and
  • The right for local governments to attach social, economic and environmental conditions to public procurement.

“This deal failed because the government in Wallonia raised those very same concerns, especially around the investor court, which has been very controversial throughout the EU and here at home,” said Yussuff.

Last minute attempts to address those concerns with an interpretative declaration failed because it wasn’t comprehensive enough and would not have been legally binding, he said.

“Any attempt to seriously address labour and civil society concerns must be legally binding. If it doesn’t override the flaws in the text, it isn’t much use to anyone,” said Yussuff.

“I hope Canada takes this opportunity to rethink its approach to trade, as one that is about fair trade,” he added.

See more at: CLC's website

Visit our webpage at:

Link: Charges laid in Sudbury miner’s death

Richard Pigeau, 54, was killed Oct. 20, 2015, when he was struck by a piece of machinery while working in the mine owned by Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Glencore).

Just days before this sombre anniversary, the Ministry of Labour laid five new charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act against Glencore Canada Corp. and two against supervisor Steven Holmik after a one-year investigation into Pigeau’s death. (5 likes, 1 comment)

See more at: Rank and File's Facebook Page Visit our webpage at:

OFL endorses the November 2 National Student Day of Action

Canada’s education system is in a crisis of rising fees, skyrocketing student debt and increased privatization. The average Canadian student owes $28,000 in student debt at graduation. This high upfront cost of education is increasingly a barrier for middle and working class learners, with 60 per cent of Canada’s post-secondary students today coming from the two highest income brackets. Thousands of Indigenous learners are denied support every year due to a funding shortfall of the Post-Secondary Student Support Program and the failure of successive governments in committing adequate funding. Post-secondary institutions are relying ever more heavily on precariously employed sessional instructors.

In response to this crisis in post-secondary education, the Canadian Federation of Students is mobilizing a National Day of Action November 2nd to protest high tuitions and the increasing privatization of post-secondary institutions.

The Ontario Federation of Labour endorses the National Student Day of Action on November 2, and encourages all Ontarians to show their support for the students who are fighting for a national, universal, tuition-free system of post-secondary education for all Canadians.

“The erosion of public funding has led reduced programming at universities and colleges, and an increasing reliance on precarious workers,” said OFL Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. “As a labour movement we need to fight barriers to education and the rise in precarious work among instructors in post-secondary institutions.”

The labour movement fought for and won free education from kindergarten to grade 12, and the OFL supports the extension of free education to include post-secondary education as well.

OFL encourages you to join us in solidarity with the Canadian Federation of Students, who represent 650, 000 students across Canada.

Protests are happening across Canada. For a listing of where you can participate click here.


See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at:

Backtracking on electoral reform makes another Harper-style government possible

“It’s unfortunate, now that the Liberals have their own artificial majority with only 39.5 per cent of the vote, they seem to be backtracking on their commitment to electoral reform.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at:

Link: R&F Podcast Episode 6 – Sugar workers in Guyana |

Activist and journalist Kevin Brice-Lall speaks with’s Gerard Di Trolio about the critical situation facing sugar workers in Guyana and the attempt by the government to shut down Wales Sugar Estate which will have major repercussions for the entire Guyanese workers’ movement. (3 likes)

See more at: Rank and File's Facebook Page Visit our webpage at:

CETA talks end in failure – a victory for democracy

“This isn’t the first trade agreement, nor will it be the last, but we’ve stood fast in our opposition to a deal that would compromise our public services, workers’ rights, our environment, and ultimately, our democracy.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at:

Addiction Canada failures show everyone loses when public services underfunded

The labour ministries in Ontario and Alberta have received a total of 155 complaints from workers owed money by Addiction Canada, or its predecessor company, Vita Novus. Workers in Ontario are owed $516,821, while workers in Alberta are owed $75,873.

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at:

Photo: Photos from Toronto & York Region Labour Council’s post

Toronto & York Region Labour Council added 5 new photos. (1 like)

See more at: Toronto and York Region Labour Council Facebook page Visit our webpage at:

Link: PM Trudeau backs away from electoral reform pledge

The Liberals are taking this opportunity to back down from numerous promises because the opposition parties have no leadership and the mainstream media is still mesmerized by shiny things. People with long memories and students of history are not surprised by this classic Liberal behaviour. Let’s not wait three more years. Let’s build the extra-parliamentary opposition now. (12 likes, 4 comments)

See more at: Rank and File's Facebook Page Visit our webpage at:

Link: Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan buys wineries, Wine Rack stores for $1.03 billion

While the LCBO and Beer Stores are union, Wine Rack is not. (2 likes, 1 comment)

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