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September 6, 2005
Labour assails CBC lockout

Labour assails CBC lockoutMonica Wolfson
Windsor Star
September 6, 2005

After being wooed by CBC to join the Windsor television station, Sean Henry moved here from Quebec City only to be locked out of a job three days after he started.

Now the 27-year-old reporter has temporary work at a local stamping plant so he can pay the rent.

Henry carried a media guild flag Monday at the annual Labour Day parade where local labour turmoil sparked fiery speeches and pledges to support 5,500 locked out CBC workers.

Henry said he's seriously thinking about leaving Windsor.

"I moved all my stuff here and spent quite a bit of money, but not to walk a picket line," Henry said at Festival Plaza on Riverside Drive where the parade ended.

Rev. Bill Capitano sympathized with the locked out public television and radio workers and warned about future labour turmoil and a declining standard of living.

"The working poor are having trouble now," said Capitano, chaplain of the Windsor Labour Council. "Who isn't going to have problems except the rich?"

Keynote speaker Sid Ryan, Ontario president of CUPE, urged union faithful to abandon the Ontario and federal Liberal parties.

"The liberal governments have left (Ontario Hydro workers) to rot on the picket lines," Ryan said of the engineers who have been on strike for four months. "The Liberal Ontario government won't get off its butt. No worker should have to walk the line for four months to keep the benefits they already have. You have to stop voting Liberal."

Ryan pointed out that Ontario's Minister of Energy, Dwight Duncan, who is from Windsor, was absent from Labour Day festivities. He also could intervene in the Ontario Hydro strike, but hasn't, Ryan said.

Before the speeches, at least six members of the Windsor Optimist Youth Band collapsed from heat exhaustion at Festival Plaza in heat of 28C under bright sun. Three teenagers were given fluids by IV and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Volunteers held ice packs to their faces as they drank water.

The five girls and one boy slumped against the front of the stage while paramedics checked pulses, hooked up heart monitors and readied them for an ambulance ride to hospital.