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GENERAL STRIKE PROPOSED TO BACK ONTARIO TEACHERS

A labor leader called today for a general strike across Ontario to show support for striking teachers as they face a government attempt to force them back to work.

"What's needed here is to show the government that there's more at risk than smashing the teachers strike," said Sid Ryan, provincial leader of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. "We all have a stake in this strike."

Ryan asked for a meeting Monday with the Ontario Federation of Labor to pick a date for a general strike.

Lawyers for the Conservative provincial government will go to court Friday to seek an injunction to stop the walkout by almost all of Ontario's 126,000 teachers. If the injunction is granted, teachers -- who halted classes Monday for more than 2 million students -- could be forced to end North America's biggest-ever teachers strike by early next week.

Teachers and their union leaders could be subject to fines or imprisonment if they defy an injunction ordering them back to work.

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