Thunder Bay

Legislation promotes worker-infighting: CAW union

A spokesperson for public sector workers in Thunder Bay says the Liberal government's pay-freeze legislation is already hurting morale in the workplace.

Workers to take a pay freeze while management is still seeing increases, union president says

A spokesperson for public sector workers in Thunder Bay says the Liberal government's pay-freeze legislation is already hurting morale in the workplace.

Local 229 CAW president Kari Jefford said she was "shocked" by the province's pay-freeze legislation. (CAW)

Local 229 of the Canadian Autoworkers represents workers in a range of services including hospital workers, long term care homes, social service workers, people dealing with clients with disabilities, employment counselling, addictions counselling — from Manitouwadge to Kenora.

About 2,400 members in the northwest would be affected by the legislation, said local union president Kari Jefford.

Jefford said the legislation "came out of nowhere" and was "a kick in the pants …What this type of legislation invokes is … worker against worker infighting."

She said that's because some management staff in the public sector in Thunder Bay have seen increases in their bonuses up to 18 per cent — and workers are feeling like everything is falling on them.

"I was very disappointed, and somewhat outraged," she said.

Jefford said the impact of the legislation is wide-reaching.

"This will affect not only public sector workers but anyone getting any type of funding from the government — and those include for-profit nursing homes," she said.

"They're still trying to roll back wages and benefits for working people there who are automatically at about an $8-an-hour disadvantage already."