Politics bringing public, private unions closer

Targeting of public services crucial issue for convergence
By Gordon Sova
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/12/2010

Late in November, a meeting took place at the head office of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) in Toronto. It included “key Ontario union leaders from both the public and private sectors,” according to OPSEU president Smokey Thomas, although there was no guest list provided. The topic of conversation was what was perceived as a public-service crisis.

A message of strong support for public services is not surprising coming from the leader of a public service union. Or from the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, who was formerly the leader of another public-service union. Maybe it’s not so surprising, either, from the leaders of other unions during a time when their members are being laid off and forced to rely on the social safety net.