On Tuesday December 6 2016, 300 protesters from several locals protested Schedule 17 outside the Trillium Dinner in Hamilton, an annual fundraiser for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government. In case you don’t know, Schedule 17 of Bill 70 will allow unqualified general labourers to do dangerous work the should be done by electricians and other skilled trades. You can learn more about the issue here.
Support from Many Locals
IBEW Local 105 organized the demonstration together with UA Local 67, IBEW Local 303, IBEW Local 804, and SMWA (Sheet Metal Workers of America) Local 537. All of these skilled trades are at risk because of Schedule 17 of Bill 70.
From 4:30 PM to after 7:30 PM, the locals chanted, waved signs, and did their best to tie up traffic for the Liberal Party members and other dinner attendees. The demonstrators earned a steady stream of honks in support, and had information handouts available for any passersby who wanted more information about the issue.
“The mood was electric. Everyone was very engaged and focused on the message: our anger over Schedule 17,” said Lorne Newick, Business Manager of IBEW Local 105. “I felt the demonstration was very successful in delivering the message to Kathleen Wynne at the Trillium Dinner.
“I’d like to thank all involved for being there and getting the message out,” Newick added, “I’m looking forward to seeing people out at future protests against Bill 70.”
TV cameras from CHCH Hamilton filmed the demonstration, with coverage appearing on the 6 PM news as well as the Wednesday morning early edition. You can view the clip here. A reporter from the Hamilton Spectator was also on the scene.
Glen Drewes of Thunder Bay’s IBEW Local 402 made the trip down to help out, as did James Barry and John Grimshaw of IBEW CCO.
Said Grimshaw, “IBEW and the Progressive Certified Trades Coalition (PCTC) are here to draw attention to Kathleen Wynne’s lack of understanding as to how important it is that we get OCOT right. This is not about union versus union, it’s about protecting public safety and protecting the integrity of the trade certification. That ticket means something.”
Bill 70 will be voted on at its third reading on Friday morning, December 9th. IBEW CCO and the PCTC extend an invitation to the Wynne government to open a dialogue.
Meanwhile, over 16,000 people so far have signed the petition. Please consider signing it and sharing it. You can also write Kathleen Wynne directly at firstname.lastname@example.org