Hudak Challenges Union Bosses on Facts of Labour Market Reform
10 July 2012
“I have to pay union dues every paycheque and now I am paying for something that I strongly do not believe in.”
- CAW member Heather Heuston, letter to The Windsor Star, July 6, 2012
“Not once did we get an opportunity to elect the head of our national union. He was elected by an executive committee, which the general membership also did not get an opportunity to elect. Some democracy.”
- NABET member Eliezer Griesdorf, letter to The National Post, July 4, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario can grow and create jobs again – but only if we have the courage to have a constructive public debate about new ways to boost our competitiveness and attract investment, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today.
“It’s been two weeks since the release of our latest policy white paper and support is growing for ideas that will modernize workplace rules and grow our economy,” Hudak said. “Over that same time, union bosses have resorted to exaggerations and false arguments to defend the status quo. But they haven’t answered the single most important question: Why won’t these reforms create new jobs?”
Hudak said union bosses seem more interested in protecting their special privileges under 1940s-era labour laws than in creating economic growth that will raise paycheques or introduce accountability measures for how members’ dues are spent.
“There’s also been a lot of talk about creating a ‘race to the bottom’,” Hudak added. “Sadly, Ontario is already ‘winning’ that race. Over the last year, we had the slowest wage growth in all of Canada at 0.1 per cent, whereas Saskatchewan grew by six per cent.”
By contrast, Hudak noted that the Pacific Research Institute found that U.S. states that embraced modern labour reforms saw 11 per cent higher income growth, 11 per cent higher economic growth and a three per cent increase in employment growth over the last decade.
“Giving individual workers the ability to choose whether to join a union, or financially contribute to union activities, would provide workers with more choice and accountability over the people who claim to represent them,” Hudak said.
The real “free rider” problem is the one union bosses take over their own members, by letting them finance political causes that individual workers might choose not to support on their own. Last week, for example, The Windsor Star reported on a planned OPSEU “solidarity” trip to Malawi and South Africa.
“Mandatory union membership, forced paycheque contributions and closed tendering for government contracts are not policies that foster the open and innovative economy that Ontario needs.
“Ontarians deserve better than needless scaremongering from people who put their own vested interests ahead of working men, women and our economy,” Hudak concluded.