Unifor retired workers pledge “boots on the ground” for public health care
Saving public health care was an urgent topic of discussion for Unifor’s 2022 National Retired Workers Council. Activists from across the country gathered from September 4 to 9 at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario.
Chairperson Les MacDonald said that members pledged to put “boots on the ground” in campaigns across the country to protect public health care from the privatization plans of many provincial governments.
The Canadian Health Coalition was invited to discuss the pandemic’s terrible impact on frontline health care workers, and we identified political opportunities to improve public health care when Parliament returns end the crisis.
Members reviewed the four health care priorities in the Liberal-NDP Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA): dental care, pharmacare, long-term care and frontline health care investments, and they affirmed resoundingly that our political priority must be, “all of the above!”
My thanks to Chair Les MacDonald and Director Barb Dolan for the invitation to meet with Council members.
Steven Staples discusses health care privatization with Unifor retired workers
In a related engagement, Unifor members and I discussed the dangers posed by for-profit health care at a special course presented by the Unifor-McMaster Labour Studies Certificate Program entitled, “Is our Health Care System being Privatised?”
Students shared first-hand experiences working in health care, including alarming stories of short-staffed emergency rooms and rationed personal protective equipment. Together, we developed ways to communicate with other union members in the workplace and strategies for action.
My sincere appreciation for the invitation by Anthony Tambureno, Program Coordinator, Certificate Programs at McMaster University School of Labour Studies.