TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 21, 2014) - Organized labour vows not to be fooled by Hudak's changing message on workers' rights, and pledges to intensify plans to travel the province educating workers on his now "hidden" agenda. After losing to a mobilized labour opposition in three key byelections, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak today did the unthinkable: he publicly buried his plan for so-called "right-to-work" legislation that threatened to dismantle Ontario's decades-old labour laws that enshrine collective bargaining rights.
"Never trust a smiling fox," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Hudak has changed his spin, but not his agenda. He remains committed to implementing a low-wage economy in Ontario and he still sees workers' rights as an obstacle to that plan. His announcement today simply signals a strategic retreat from an unpopular message in the hope that he can win an election and bring in anti-worker laws at a later date."
At today's breakfast speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Hudak admitted that voters aren't clamoring for American-style anti-worker laws and promised that: "if we're elected, we're not going to do it - we're not going to change the so-called 'Rand Formula.'" This promise rings hollow after a year-long commitment to over-rule workplace democracy by eliminating mandatory union dues and reducing the capacity of unions to represent their members and advocate politically for workers' rights.
"Hudak's fatal flaw is that he revealed his hand too early," said Ryan. "We know he believes that Ontario's workers should be competing against other low-wage jurisdictions in a race to the bottom and he wants to eliminate the workplace rights that stand in the way of his plan. The OFL will make sure that every single worker in the province knows exactly what a Hudak government has in store."
The Ontario Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour Congress and regional labour councils across the province are currently planning upwards of 20 regional meetings to train workers to educate their colleagues, families and neighbours about Hudak's hidden agenda. For information on the campaign, visit: www.RightsatWork.ca
"Ontarians want good jobs, not McJobs," said Ryan. "In three key byelections, voters rejected Hudak's divisive attack on the province's workers and the labour movement is going to bring this opposition to every community in Ontario. We have no intention of allowing the fox into the henhouse."
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.