Well, the summer shutdown for the Retiree Centre begins at the end of June. There will be no Retiree Chapter meetings in July or August. This is the norm each year. John Pula informs me that he is going to do some painting and other work during this time period in order to make improvements in the Retiree Centre. No doubt these efforts will go well.
With the Ontario provincial election over, we find ourselves with Doug Ford and the Tories in power with a majority government. We are in for a rough four years of Tory rule. Things are definitely not going to be good for Ontario’s labour movement, in particular. We are sure to be subject to big changes none of which will be good. The Tories will make cuts and then more cuts. Retirees will be among those who suffer the consequences. Changes to our hospitals involving privatization and the layoff of workers can be expected. You can also expect income-based cuts to schools and to day care.
Our retirees lived through the Mike Harris years starting in 1995 and lasting until 2003. We remember how that went and this could be worse.
I was at the Ontario Federation of Union Retirees Conference in Port Elgin. Ontario Federation of Labour President, Chris Buckley spoke at the meeting. I went to the microphone and told him that the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress and Unifor have to get back together because it is hurting everyone. Chris said that he agreed and that meetings between Unifor and the CLC to get everything back together are taking place. So, we will see what the outcome of these discussions will be. Nothing has developed so far.
I also want to remind every retired worker that your union dues must be paid in order for you to be able to vote in union elections and at union meetings and in order for you to be able to use our Retiree Centre. If you have not been paying union dues, I urge you to go upstairs and pay them in order to be a member in good standing. Union dues are tax deductible so you get your $24 a year back at tax time. John Clout used to say that his union dues was the best investment he ever made. He was right.
I want everyone to have a wonderful and safe summer. As the song goes we will see you in September.