BY ROBERT SIMMS
LONDON, Ontario - Hamilton has been targeted as the next city in Ontario where the labor movement and its allies will launch protest strikes and demonstrations against massive social cuts and rollbacks of workers' rights by the provincial government led by Premier Mike Harris. These actions will take place Friday, February 23, and Saturday, February 24.
The planned protests became part of the discussion at a meeting here January 20, where more than 40 people, including unionists from several Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) locals and students from the University of Western Ontario, came to hear a report from France on the worker-student revolt against social cuts last December.
Al Cappe, a laid-off steelworker, and Guy Tremblay, a paperworker and member of the Young Socialists in Montreal, were invited to speak at the London meeting by the Human Rights Committee of CAW Local 27. Both had been in France to participate in the events of the worker-student political protests.
The participants in the meeting were all veterans of the successful December 11 protest in London that shut down dozens of factories and offices and featured a rally of 15,000 workers and youth.
Debbie Tveit, an Ontario Federation of Labor vice president and worker at an auto parts plant in Tillsonberg, also spoke at the meeting, outlining the aims of the Hamilton protest.
There will be both work stoppages and demonstrations over the two days, including a Saturday, she said, which will allow more workers, especially those in the public sector, to get involved.
One worker from the Ford plant at St. Thomas reported plans to get several busloads of CAW members in the London region to Hamilton.
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