Native Women's Resource Centre workers in Toronto join OPSEU

Contract work, job security main issues for employees: Union

All non-management workers at the Native Women's Resource Centre of Toronto are now members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) after they voted to join the union on Jan. 22.

"These women dedicate their lives to helping Indigenous women and the union will make sure they have the resources to do their job," said Kareen Marshall, chair of OPSEU's community agencies division. "The employer has increasingly taken their dedicated efforts for granted, causing real consternation."

The Native Women's Resource Centre provides a safe and welcoming environment for Toronto-area Indigenous women and their children. Staff members assist them with services that cover housing, families, advocacy, employment, education and youth, said the union.

Marshall explained that the latest sign of erosion was the employer's move to eliminate the paid week off during the Christmas break without explanation or notice. Workers were also greatly concerned about the employer's increasing reliance on contract work, according to OPSEU.

"Job security was a big factor in workers seeking union representation. Precarious workers can have a terrible time balancing family obligations with changeable work schedules," said Marshall. "As more contract workers are hired, permanent employees worry about their own job security.

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