The following resolution was discussed and adopted unanimously at the latest meeting of the Cross-Canada Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, which is fighting to mobilize educators and support staff against the ruling elite’s criminal handling of the pandemic. To get involved in the work of the CERSC, contact us at email@example.com or visit our Facebook page.
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The Cross-Canada Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee condemns the politically motivated firing of David O’Sullivan, a bus driver in London, England, who was victimized because he fought for COVID-19 protections at his workplace. We join the calls of our brothers and sisters in Britain, Germany and elsewhere in demanding his immediate reinstatement.
O’Sullivan was fired by Metroline, a private bus operator, after he exercised his legal right to refuse dangerous work as COVID-19 ran rampant through the Cricklewood Bus Garage in January. As management and the Unite trade union connived to conceal infections, O’Sullivan courageously sought to inform his fellow bus drivers of their right to refuse dangerous work. The 30-year veteran driver was fired after Unite submitted evidence against O’Sullivan at a company disciplinary hearing—a kangaroo court that finalized his dismissal.
The CERSC states unequivocally that O’Sullivan’s fight is the same as ours. Throughout the pandemic, we teachers, education support staff, and caretakers have been forced to work in dangerous conditions because the political establishment wants “open schools” to act as child-minding services so that parents can be made to go to work in unsafe conditions to generate profits for big business. Like O’Sullivan and his bus driver colleagues, we confront a gang-up of our employers in the form of right-wing provincial governments with the trade unions. They have collaborated to ensure that schools remain open as long as possible and to suppress all worker opposition to life-threatening working conditions.
Whenever educators took a brave stand and refused to work under conditions of COVID-19 outbreaks at their schools, their protest action was isolated by the teacher unions and kept within the straitjacket of pro-employer labour relations regulations that give us no protection. The unions have also provided fodder for the homicidal policy of open schools with fraudulent propaganda claiming that packed classrooms, hallways and dining halls can be organized “safely” during a pandemic that has claimed over 25,000 lives across Canada.
We pledge to do everything to publicize O’Sullivan’s case among our colleagues across Canada. This is a critical part of our committee’s ongoing fight for safe workplaces, which must be intensified as the ruling elite seeks to roll back the remaining limited COVID-19 restrictions to protect corporate profits. We will conduct this fight in solidarity with our colleagues organized in the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee and workers organized in similar committees in the United States, Europe and internationally. We appeal to all educators across Canada who support this struggle to join our committee today by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.