Canada: 55,000 Education Workers Strike Against Ontario Government

After the Ontario government approved laws this week imposing contracts on the education professionals and banning strikes, approximately 55,000 workers from the education sector in Canada’s most populous province quit their jobs, announcing a strike. 

This comes as on Thursday afternoon, the right-wing government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford approved Bill 28, often known as the Keeping Students in Class Act, by citing a disputed provision of the Canadian Constitution that precludes legal challenges. Moreover, with the strike of more than 55,000 workers, the functioning of various educational bodies in Ontario has been affected.

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Notably, the Bill 28 affects more than 55,000 education workers including librarians, custodians, secretaries and the other staff members. Furthermore, the Canadian Union Of Public Employees (CUPE) stated that the bill is a direct attack on the rights of the education staff, the reason why they called a strike against the government. 

Moreover, hundreds of schools in Ontario stays closed due to the strike. Additionally, the Union warned that if the demands of the employees are not met, then the school staff won’t return to their jobs, adding that these 55,000 employees are the “backbone” of Ontario’s public education sector. Likewise, the union also stated that these are the lowest paid workers in the education sector. 

The striking workers held posters and banners, raising slogans against the administration on Friday outside of the Ontario government offices as well as at Queen’s Park, the location of the provincial legislature in Toronto. Moreover, the strike has not only affected the functioning of the public education sector in Ontario but even troubled the government. 

However, the government, despite such a massive strike, defended the bill, asserting that the demands of the workers are “way much higher”. Moreover, the government has even planned to take action against those agitating against the bill, citing that their strike affects the studies of the school students.

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