Inside Ontario’s ‘unprecedented’ labour fight

By The Big Story

In today’s Big Story podcast, on Tuesday, the provincial government backed down on its use of the notwithstanding clause to force CUPE workers into a contract, and strip them of their ability to legally strike.

Unions across the country have threatened solidarity strikes, sent money to support Ontario’s education support workers and created a unified show of force larger than anything this country has seen in decades. So even as the educational support workers resume working, and the kids return to school, the pressure on the Ford government to reach an agreement remains immense.

Cynthia Mulligan is a Queen’s Park reporter at CityNews. She joined us to break down the sequence of events leading up to the strike, share what she’s been hearing from people on both sides of the dispute, and discuss how this may impact future labour battles in the province and across the country.

“Premiers and governments will be watching this very closely to see what happens next, and they’ll take lessons away from that,” she said, “I don’t think they’ll be using the notwithstanding clause in a labor dispute any time soon.”

So will the two sides at the heart of this find a solution? How will Doug Ford’s government handle other upcoming labour negotiations now that they know how fierce the pushback can be? What impact might this one fight have on the future of labour in Canada?

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