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CBC's Brent Bambury to host live town hall on unions in Ontario

Log on to CBC Hamilton at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday for 'Labour Pains: Do Unions Still Matter?', a live town hall that will be broadcast over the web from Hamilton's Mohawk College.
CBC Radio's Brent Bambury will host a live town hall on the future of labour in Canada on April 23 at Hamilton's Mohawk College (CBC)

Solidarity forever? Are unions a help? In the way of the "right to work?" A drain on taxpayers' money? The backbone of the middle class?

Join the debate about whether unions still matter by participating in a special CBC town hall discussion that will be presented live across much of the province.

Brent Bambury, host of CBC Radio's Day 6, will be hosting Labour Pains, a live town hall from Hamilton's Mohawk College, to try to get to the heart of this debate.

The conversation, set for April 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET, will feature four panelists — an activist, a management consultant, a teachers' union rep and university prof — who will each weigh in on the value of the union in Ontario today.

If you are in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa, Windsor or Kitchener-Waterloo, you can view the panel debate online via your local station and you can participate  directly via a live chat hooked in to the panel and to people across the province.

Ontarians are divided on the subject of unions, a rift that was exposed once again during the months-long standoff between the province's teachers and the Liberal government.

The debate raised tough questions about organized labour in Ontario and beyond. Do unions — particularly those representing public sector employees — have too much power? Or too little? How can private sector unions adapt to economic game-changers like advancements in technology and cutthroat global competition?

So, we ask: Do unions still matter?

Join in and discuss work life in your city. Selected comments and questions from the web chats will be directed to panelists in the town hall.