Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 27, 2012 16:37 ET

Hudak Plan Seeks to Strip Workers of Wages, Benefits and Pensions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak's White Paper on "Flexible Labour Markets" seeks to strip Ontario workers of wages, benefits and pensions, according to the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

"Hudak's proposed reforms to Ontario labour laws are nothing but sour grapes. He blames labour unions and not his own bad policy for his crushing electoral defeat last year," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Hudak is upset that his legal challenge against the Working Families Coalition was rejected by three separate courts, so now he is trying to attack the workers themselves," said OFL President Sid Ryan.

Today, Hudak released a 20-page White Paper calling for more "flexible labour markets." In it, he touts Alabama style "right-to-work" legislation that strips workers of the democratic ability to bargain collectively with their employer and allows employers to drive down wages and working conditions. However, even the World Bank confirms that by every meaningful economic indicator, those countries with higher rates of unionization have lower unemployment and inflation, higher productivity and speedier adjustments to economic shocks. By raising the bar on wages, benefits and working conditions, labour unions establish new and fairer standards for all workers. This, in turn, results in families - across the board - with more money to spend on services and small businesses that help the economy thrive.

"When Hudak calls for a 'flexible workforce' what he really means is a low wage and precarious one. He reveals his agenda when he blames the higher wages paid to skilled Canadian workers who manufactured diesel trains for Caterpillar's decision to close the plant and move production to low-wage states," said Ryan. "Rather than getting tough on foreign corporations who exploit Canadian workers and resources, Hudak's strategy is to side with the CEOs to slash wages and dismantle the social safety net."

"Ontarians rejected Hudak's platform during the last provincial election and they aren't about to buy into his politics of division now," said Ryan. "Ontarians want their children to have rights at work. They want them to have decent jobs, with benefits and sick leave. They want them to retire with dignity and security. All of those things are only possible when workers are free to work together to promote good jobs for everyone. Voters aren't interested in Hudak's race to the bottom."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.

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