“Standing up for Saskatchewan jobs is the right thing to do. Why then does the premier refuse to reverse government decisions that also result in job losses?,” writes Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, in a letter to the editor. Referencing the premier’s appropriate attempt to mitigate layoffs by PotashCorp, Graham notes that misguided government decisions are also adding to a growing number of job losses in Saskatchewan.
Graham lists as examples the 250 layoffs at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, 400 jobs that will be eliminated across the province due to the wholesale privatization of health care laundry, and the 500 workers in Moose Jaw who will lose their jobs with the planned closure of Valley View Centre – a care home for people with disabilities who require a high level of support and services.
“Perhaps the premier can continue to stand up for his shareholders and reconsider misguided decisions that put Saskatchewan people out of work,” writes Graham.
RE: STAND UP FOR JOBS
Despite third-quarter profits of $365 million ($1.6 billion to date this year) reported as recently as October, PotashCorp announced sweeping layoffs of 440 Saskatchewan workers, mainly to protect plum shareholder dividends.
The job losses are not just contained to PotashCorp, with supplier businesses, too, reportedly issuing layoff notices. Premier Brad Wall responded by indicating that he’s standing up for his shareholders, the people of Saskatchewan, by insisting that PotashCorp reconsider its decision and mitigate some of the layoffs.
Standing up for Saskatchewan jobs is the right thing to do. Why then does the premier refuse to reverse government decisions that also result in job losses?
Nearly 250 front-line workers have seen their jobs cut at the University of Saskatchewan this year, with even more cuts expected. Meanwhile, the former university president collects a million-dollar compensation package, tuition continues to climb and taxpayer-funded billboards ironically boast about government investment in post-secondary education.
The government’s decision to privatize all health care laundry in the province will claim a further 400 jobs – approximately 100 jobs in Prince Albert alone – and an Alberta-based corporation will instead profit at the expense of Saskatchewan taxpayers. In Moose Jaw, more than 500 workers will lose their jobs because of the government decision to close Valley View Centre, a care home for 200 people with disabilities who require a high level of support and services not available in a community setting.
Perhaps the premier can continue to stand up for his shareholders and reconsider misguided decisions that put Saskatchewan people out of work.
President, CUPE Saskatchewan Division
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