Salvation Army workers on strike for two months

On March 6, some 60 Salvation Army workers from the Booth Centre shelter in Ottawa’s Byward Market will have been on strike for two months. Workers and members of the Ottawa community will mark this by delivering new findings to Salvation Army Advisory Board member Graham Bird in an attempt to initiate a conversation with Mr. Bird about the strike. Graham Bird is a well known Ottawa businessman, having received a sole-source contract from the city to manage the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.

The new findings will be presented by religious leaders in the community, academics and workers who have been investigating the situation.

One finding that will be shared: Perry Rowe, the current Executive Director of the Booth Centre, was also the Chair of the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness in 2008. In a presentation to the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economics that year, Mr. Rowe argued that to afford a single bedroom apartment in Ottawa a worker would have to earn $15.35 per hour. This was based on 2007 figures. The vast majority of Booth Centre workers earn less than this.

Even so, the Salvation Army Booth Centre continues to offer the vast majority of its workers a wage that is less than that required to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city.

Separately, these findings will also be provided to city councillors and the mayor, in the hope that one of them will take the initiative and help achieve a fair resolution at the publicly-funded shelter.

Date: Tuesday, March 6

Rally meeting point: Holland Cross (Holland Ave. and Scott. St.) @ 12:00pm (noon)

Office location: 1339 Wellington Ave. @ 12:15pm

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