Since the last Atlantic Council meeting, there has been many challenges and much stress for many of our members in Newfoundland and Labrador. With job cuts being the top priority for the Conservative government, there has been many hours spent reading the work force adjustment policy.
At the Halifax airport as I was returning home from the last Atlantic Council meeting, I was advised by a PSAC member that MP Peter Penashue was in the airport. He had been avoiding PSAC members, myself included, for some time so I took that opportunity to approach him and set up a meeting. Myself, Brother Bill Walsh (provincial director for NL) and Sister Lana Payne (president of NL Federation of Labour) met with him. He gave us a maximum fifteen minutes of his time! We spoke to him about the job cuts to the federal public service. He does not believe that the cuts are going to have a negative impact on the general public. We left frustrated that he refused to admit that there would be some hardship for people around the job cuts.
During the Federal Government Public Service Week PSAC asked that members boycott the activities offered by the employer in protest of the job cuts. In St. John’s the Area Council held a BBQ during lunch time to provide members with an alternative. I attended the BBQ to show my support.
On September 15th a rally in St. John’s will be held to protest the cuts to public services. I am looking forward to attending that rally and raising awareness to the issues. As part of my local, we have done several plantgates to advise members of the cuts and encouraging them to participate in the events that are organized by the PSAC.
It will continue to be a busy time fighting back against the Conservative government but not a fight that we are willing to give up on. We may not always win every fight but we refuse to give up!