Reinstate Marcia Smith to continue her Union work!

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A CUPE Local 79 Steward has been attacked and removed from her role for petitioning CUPE National to help with an online membership meeting. This is not right. The CUPE 79 board needs to change its decision now!

We need strong people like Marcia to fight for us and speak for us. We can’t afford to lose our activists and our shop stewards who advocate for us.

Marcia has served Local 79 as a shop steward for over 10 years and has been the co-chair of the Health and Safety Committee for over 7 years. In her petition, Marcia talked about the need for the Local to discuss the health and safety implications of the Reopening Ontario Act. She wrote: “Our workplaces are unsafe and members are experiencing violence while at work. We are fearful of what lies ahead and need our President to address our membership and listen to our concerns.” 

Marcia received a call late Sunday evening from Local 79’s President Dave Mitchell asking Marcia to remove the petition. He also advised she would be receiving a lawyer’s letter and could possibly face discipline from her job at the City. She immediately closed the petition and requested it be deleted. She advised the President that the petition was created due to an overwhelming amount of calls she received from frustrated members expressing their health and safety concerns and the lack of communication from the local.

Even after the President was advised the petition was removed he sent her a lawyer’s letter demanding she (a member of Local 79) not use “CUPE Local 79” in her petition and once again threatened Marcia with the possibility that  she could face discipline from her job at the City.

As a further reprisal, Marcia has since received confirmation from the Chief Steward that she was made inactive as a Steward effective August 11th,  the next day after the conversation with the President.

The President responded to these justified concerns from a health and safety activist backed by hundreds of rank-and-file members by using his position to threaten and intimidate her

He should not be attacking our Sister or using union resources to go after members for voicing reasonable concerns. He should not be threatening workers’ jobs. That is not behaviour becoming of a union leader.

Our bylaws state that a Steward can be removed for “just cause.” In this case, there was no just cause to remove our Sister.

Therefore we, the undersigned Social Justice Collectives demand the immediate reinstatement of our Sister Marcia Smith to continue performing her Union work!!!