Teamsters North Bay representing Ontario Northland Bus drivers held a "Rally of Support" yesterday at The Station, into our 64th day on legal strike against Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. There was many family and friends present as well as local media and many Unions showing their support for us. Mother Nature sent some cool and windy weather our way but seemed to heighten the atmosphere of pride on the picket line and the rally itself.
The Reverend Terry O'Connor (past President – North Bay Labor Council) started off the rally with a thunderous salute to our cause and criticized the lack of action from the government to end the dispute. Next was Mr. Mike Wheten, National Legislative Director for Teamsters.as well as Mr. Henri Giroux, Newly elected President of the North Bay Labor Council and an NDP candidate in the last election. Lack of action from any form of Government was the word of the day and to fight for what we believe is "fair and reasonable"
Tony Wentzell, Chairman of the our local Teamsters Division called on The Hon. Monique Smith MPP (Nipissing Riding) and newly posted Minister of Revenue to say a few words but the silence just grew a few boo's from the crowd when she was a no-show for the event. Tony reiterated to the members and to the media that Teamsters from North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins divisions are seeking parity with other groups at ONTC and the industry itself. Solidarity was the theme.
A representative from CAW Local 991 North Bay closed off the speeches by donating $25 food vouchers to all of the Teamster (North Bay) members as a show of support.
The many donations that were put forth and the hard work that went into the rally from the members made this event a success in the eyes of Brad Harvey, Strike Captain for Teamsters North Bay, who organized and hosted the rally on behalf of all the members of North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins members.
"I couldn't have done it without the help of my brothers and sisters" and especially members Delinda Troch and Vivian Roy who looked after canvassing for all of the donations from different companies, friends and co-workers.
Many media outlets such as MCTV, COGECO Cable News, BayToday news, North Bay Nugget, CKAT radio and papers from North Bay and surrounding area told our story being fair and open-minded and helped get our message to the people of Northern Ontario.
Not to mention the Union support from groups from the North Bay Labor Council (OPSEU, CUPE, CAW-internal and external, SCIU, Machinist Union, and Retail and Dept. Store Unions from North Bay and Sudbury.
We are "cautiously optomistic" said Tony Wentzell, local chairman as talk resume on Monday December 3/07 after being called back to the table on the previous Friday by ONTC.
Teamsters North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins divisions would like to thank all who joined us for the Rally of Support and we look forward to getting back to work to serve the people of Northeastern Ontario which coincidentally is Ontario Northlands mandate!!!
Teamsters North Bay