Toronto – January 20, 2013 – At a time when the rich are getting richer and everyone else is struggling to keep their heads above water, Tim Hudak and the Ontario Conservatives are pushing a policy paper that attacks workers and the role of unions.
Under the guise of modernizing the province’s labour law, Hudak’s policy – called "Paths to Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets" – would result in lower wages and fewer workplace benefits for Ontario’s workers.
For Hudak, the idea of a “flexible” workforce means the expansion of a low wage precarious workforce that will further increase the growing inequality between the richest 1% and the rest of us.
Mimicking republicans in the United States, Hudak would like to convert Ontario to a ‘right-to-work’ state where unions are stripped of their abilities to speak out in their member’s interests and employee’s rights are undermined.
In 2011, 7 of the top 10 unemployment rates in the US were in right-to-work states. In right-to-work states wages are suppressed for both union and non-union employees, and workers in right to work states are less likely to benefit from employer sponsored pension plans than workers in free bargaining states.
“Perhaps Hudak is angry and looking for scapegoats for his uninspiring performance in the last provincial election, or maybe it’s just sour grapes for his repeated losses in the courts against the Working Families Coalition,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “For whatever the reason, Hudak’s proposals are vindictive and destructive and will do nothing but pad the pockets of rich CEOs while making it even harder for workers in Ontario to attempt to raise their standard of living.”