The Ontario Federation of Labour has launched a province wide campaign calling on all union members, leaders, retirees and activists to defeat the Conservative’s attack on workers’ rights.
The Toronto-region campaign meeting was held on March 6, 2014. Workers from all unions filled the OFL Auditorium; the enthusiasm was evident.
It is a stark reality that Ontario could become a right-to-work jurisdiction within months, said OFL President Sid Ryan. So the OFL in co-operation with the CLC, labour councils and affiliates are using this opportunity to reach out to as many people as possible and inform them on the truths of the labour movement.
“Mr. Hudak’s entire platform is centred on dismantling the labour movement to clear the way for a low-wage economy,” said OFL President Sid Ryan.
Ontario Progressive Conservative leader, Tim Hudak’s plan to bring right-to-work laws into Canada would see paying dues become optional for all union members, even though those who opt out will still receive the same benefits as paying members.
This proposed policy would weaken union bargaining power and drastically limit unions’ ability to defend working peoples’ rights.
Another main issue outlined was Bill 525, put forward by the Harper Government. If enacted, it would make it more challenging to certify a union and easier to decertify, through a voting system that counts any uncast votes as a no.
The OFL called this attack, “the biggest challenge our unions have ever faced.”
A 5-Step Guide to defeating anti-worker laws was released at the meeting, detailing the campaign strategy. It is focused on connecting with members and affirming the value of union membership.
The campaign aims to curb Hudak’s political future by informing union members and members of the public on the issues against unions proposed by the Conservative Government – in time for the upcoming election.
“The strategy is to make sure we drive down the tory vote in all of our major cities where we’ve got relatively high union density,” said Ryan.
“Drive down the tory vote, such that Tim Hudak never becomes the premier of Ontario.”
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers – the plan is to speak with everyone.
Please see images from the Toronto-region Campaign Meeting below.