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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.

Photo: Timeline Photos

Support members of L249 at CWSDS info picket on Wed. Aug. 23 at 1:30pm, marks countdown to strike or lockout

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Photo: Timeline Photos

Support the laid-off members of OPSEU Local 518 and bring violence-against-women services back to North York! (6 likes)

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Yussuff: Trump has failed the test of moral leadership. We must not.

Just over a week has passed since the world watched with horror and disgust as the reality of fascist terrorism ended the life of civil rights activist Heather Heyer and forever scarred the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. And in that week, a movement dismissed as harmless by too many for too long found a fervent ally in the American president.

As I watched the devastating events unfold, and how the so-called leader of the free world responded, my thoughts immediately turned to my daughter, to her future, and then to what this means for racialized communities everywhere.

And then I saw a chilling interview that made me wonder how Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka felt about her father’s choice to defend the white supremacists who stormed Charlottesville.

Vice News correspondent Elle Reeve interviewed one of the heavily armed neo-nazis – Christopher Cantwell – as he prepared to march. In the interview, Cantwell blasts Trump for not being racist enough because – as Cantwell puts it – he had given his daughter to a Jew.

“I don’t think you could feel about race like I do, and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl,” Cantwell tells Reeve, referring to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor.

With one sentence, Cantwell illustrated the indisputable link between misogyny, racism, xenophobia and fascism – a link so perfectly personified in Donald Trump, and one that may explain why Ivanka Trump has been so silent.

True to his character, her father spent the week resisting calls to condemn the fascists, instead repeatedly expressing solidarity for Cantwell’s cohorts.

There were “good people,” Trump insisted, among those who marched through Charlottesville brandishing military grade weapons, torches and nazi symbols chanting “white lives matter”, “Jews will not replace us,” and one of Hitler’s favourites, “blood and soil,” violently attacking counter protesters along the way. Under pressure, Trump would only condemn violence “on many sides.”

As for what the fascists were protesting – the removal of confederate statues celebrating another era’s fascists who sought to break up the United States in defense of slavery?

“We should cherish our history,” Trump proclaimed to reporters. “The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” he later tweeted.

His choice to react as he did was roundly applauded by today’s fascists and their supporters.

“He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about white nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him,” one Trump supporter wrote in a comment on the Daily Stormer, an American neo-nazi and white supremacist web site.

It is all horrifying and disgusting. But none of us should be surprised.

Campaigning for the presidency Trump refused to distance himself from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, an honoured guest at the fascist rally last week. And as president, he has repeatedly fomented hate with his anti-immigrant, misogynistic, racist rants, dangerously normalizing tolerance of the intolerable.

There were Canadians among the white supremacists in Charlottesville. Two of them – Montreal’s Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald and Vincent Belanger-Mercure – have been outed after appearing in the Vice News documentary, enthusiastically shaking Cantwell’s hand, telling him they’d driven 12 hours to be there.

Not that they’d need to leave Canada to find murderous hate. We need only think back to the murder of Muslim worshippers in a Quebec City mosque in January, or to the growing number of hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims, Jews and racialized communities reported this year. Or look ahead to fascist Unite the Right rallies being planned in cities across Canada, starting with Vancouver this weekend, and in Toronto, the multicultural capital of the world, in September.

Donald Trump has failed the test of moral leadership, but we must not. Every local, regional and national labour leader, political leader, business and community leader has a responsibility to ensure that today’s fascists are denied the support they need to survive. We must all commit to challenging the racism that is still too prevalent in our homes, workplaces and communities. And we must all publicly and unconditionally condemn fascism, and those who refuse to condemn it.

Because what happened in Charlottesville can happen anywhere.

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Muskrat Falls price tag is mighty high, and we’re not even talking about people’s rights being trampled (1 like)

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Link: Debate heats up over minimum wage hike in Ontario | Toronto Star

The owner of Snakes and Lattes doesn’t play games when discussing the coming minimum wage hike in Ontario.

“A living wage should be guaranteed for everyone, especially in Toronto, which is a very expensive place to live,” says Ben Castanie, owner of three popular board game cafés in the city.

Unlike many in the food service industry, the entrepreneur thinks the increase is a win-win for workers and the economy, since more people will have more money in their pockets to spend.

Castanie … (62 likes, 4 comments)

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‘No board’ report triggers strike countdown for OPSEU members at CWSDS

 “One of our top priorities is ensuring our services foster the inclusion and dignity that adults with developmental disabilities have a right to. However, the employer doesn’t think we deserve the same kind of dignity — not when they’re offering us dimes.” — Sue Walker, President, OPSEU Local 249

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Link: Poutini’s faces revolt after workers walk out

Great stuff!

“One of Toronto’s most popular poutine joints was embroiled in turmoil today after staff walked out of the flagship location on Queen.

A note posted to the front door of Poutini’s seemed directed more at the owner than disappointed customers. It read in part “We have walked out as part of the right to refuse unsafe work conditions.”” (13 likes, 3 comments)

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New members of NBU sign first contracts

“We will continue to push for [domestic violence leave] in negotiations, with the ultimate goal of it becoming part of the labour laws in our province.” — Susie Proulx-Daigle, NBU President

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Link: ‘Not business as usual’: Airport evacuation draws blowback from striking workers

A/C malfunction fills Winnipeg airport with smoke, forcing evacuation, the first of its kind at the airport. The union on strike against the Winnipeg Airport Authority warned them it would happen.

“It is kind of showing how our management is very much having difficulty trying to do our job without it…They’re struggling and they don’t have the expertise that they should have there. It’s a little scary for everybody.”​ (6 likes)

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Link: Feds: Fiat Chrysler VP bribed UAW execs ‘to take company friendly positions’

It started out as a scandal about personal greed.

Fiat Chrysler and UAW executives, authorities said, were scheming together to line their own pockets.

But the scheme, they now claim, had another goal: Helping the company instead of autoworkers, and bribing union officials to get that done. (7 likes, 1 comment)

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