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January 19, 1999 
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Union warns of lost jobs

Privatization hurts society, CUPE says 

By Vanessa Lu 
Toronto Star Workplace Issues Reporter

Canadians are already feeling the negative impact of privatization, and the long-term consequences will be enormous if governments continue down this path, a report by one of the country's largest unions says. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees will officially release the report, called Hostile Takeover: Annual Report On Privatization, today in Toronto. 

The report details how privatization moves have hurt Canadians both in the pocketbook and as a society, especially in health care and education. 

``It's meant to be a wake-up call, an alarm bell,'' CUPE national president Judy Darcy said in an interview. 

Between 1992 and 1996, 121,000 public-sector jobs disappeared and that has had a ripple effect on communities, the report says. Some jobs were eliminated and other unionized jobs have turned into private-sector jobs, often with only part-time or casual hours and at much lower wages. 

``What we're seeing is not only the outright loss of jobs, but we're also seeing the transformation of decent, family-supporting jobs into low-paid, insecure jobs,'' Darcy said. 

Lost wages mean less money for people to spend in local stores, on housing or recreation activities, the report adds. 

Darcy said it's not a coincidence that the report is being released just weeks before Finance Minister Paul Martin is to deliver the federal budget because CUPE wants to see funding levels for public services restored. 

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