Showing just how deep the wounds are after the bitter 39-day civic strike, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council says politicians who voted against ratifying the contracts with the city unions aren’t welcome on the reviewing stand at Monday’s Labour Day parade.
Back on July 22, in the midst of the strike, labour council president John Cartwright invited Mayor David Miller and city councillors on the CNE Association board to join him on the reviewing stand inside Dufferin Gate as the parade passes by Monday morning.
Councillor Michael Thompson accepted the invitation last week. Yesterday, his office was told the councillor’s presence would be inappropriate, “given the municipal strike this summer and his vote against the contract.”
Unbowed, Thompson said he will go anyway.
Councillors Brian Ashton and Norm Kelly also voted against ratifying deals with unionized civic workers, but have yet to accept the invitation. If they do, they’ll be told the same thing as Thompson, Cartwright said.
“These guys were basically showing complete disrespect for workers,” Cartwright said. “Labour Day is about a celebration of the contribution that union members make to our great city, and if you disrespect that, then it’s really not appropriate for you to be there.”
Asked if Miller, a perennial guest, would be welcome, Cartwright said: “I don’t think he’s going to be there. We’ve indicated our unhappiness with his approach.”