Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

March 29, 2005 11:50 ET


Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2005) - Dalton McGuinty's Liberal Government is tabling their labour law reform package for second reading today. Bill 144 contains several significant changes such as unfair labour practice certification and interim relief. "Yet there is more, much more that needs to be done," says OFL president Wayne Samuelson.

Card certification, for example, is only extended to the construction trades leaving the vast majority of workers, in particular low wage workers in the labour intensive service sector where most women, youth and people of colour are employed, without this access to the union of their choice. So while the building trades can certify where a majority of workers voluntarily sign a union membership card, the rest of the workforce will not only have to sign a card, but also have a vote five or so days later. The time in between the two can then be used by the employer to campaign against the union making certification more difficult.

Many sectors of our economy have jobs which are mostly held by women, such as clerical, sales and service jobs. These women need to have the right to a union where a majority sign a card. "Premier McGuinty needs to remove sexist bias from his law reform package by extending card certification to all workers," says OFL executive vice-president Irene Harris.

Card certification for all workers came into Ontario in 1950 and remained in place under Premiers Leslie Frost, John Robarts, Bill Davis and Frank Miller. Card certification was also in place under the previous Liberal Government of David Peterson and NDP Premier Bob Rae. It was not until the Conservative Government of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves that this important provision was removed. "The Dalton McGuinty government needs to make a complete break with the anti worker amendments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves and restore fair, progressive labour law in Ontario with card certification for all workers", Samuelson said.

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/For further information: Irene Harris OFL Executive Vice-President 416.347.0454 (cellular)/ IN: JUSTICE, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408