OPSEU stages info pickets over ServiceOntario changes
Demonstrations were held across Ontario, including in Guelph, over union concerns about privatization at the province's ServiceOntario offices.
The Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) says the security of personal information could be at risk if it's made available to the private sector.
While the finance minister says private sector involvement at ServiceOntario is a good thing, the union believes your information could be at risk.
The ServiceOntario system renews driver's licences and health cards, and OPSEU says letting the private sector in makes personal information vulnerable.
Mavis Vet of OPSEU Local 232 says "Once people get your SIN number they have access to everything that is personally yours."
However, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says private involvement would help reduce the province's $16-billion deficit.
But Vet says "ServiceOntario pays for itself now, so why are we mucking with something that is paying for itself?"
While demonstrators are worried about the security of personal information, not everyone is as concerned, and some even believe private involvement could mean more locations and shorter lineups.
Meanwhile, Vet insists it's about protecting personal information and not union jobs.
"We don't mind working with private companies. We don't want the total sell-off of ServiceOntario because you need the checks and balances and you need the government workers to be doing that."
Friday's lunch hour demonstrations took place in 25 communities across Ontario and the union says it will continue its campaign in the coming weeks.