Momentum Building for Labour Law Reform: McNaughton
06 July 2012
“Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s proposals to curtail union powers that are damaging our economy and wasting taxpayers’ money couldn’t have come at a better time.”
- Toronto Sun editorial, July 6, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Businesspeople across Ontario are backing calls for boosting our competitiveness to create jobs through bold labour market reforms, PC Economic Development and Innovation Critic Monte McNaughton said today.
McNaughton’s comments follow a week of meetings with business leaders as part of the Ontario PC Caucus’ For Jobs and Our Economy tour. And they come on the heels of StatsCan data released today showing the province has trailed job creation in Canada for 66 straight months.
“Job creators I talk to have a question for the union bosses,” McNaughton said. “Why are they clinging to the status quo? After all, under their way of doing things, our province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in nine years, we’re saddled with anemic economic growth, and wage growth is virtually stagnant – by far the slowest in the country.”
What’s needed, McNaughton said, are public sector tendering rules that open more government work up to real competition. “This will ensure more roads get built and new buildings are opened on time and on budget – while driving costs down and creating jobs.”
Open tendering is one of four ideas for reform tabled in the Ontario PCs’ newest – and hotly debated – Paths to Prosperity white paper, entitled Flexible Labour Markets.
The paper also proposes giving an individual worker a choice whether to become or remain a union member, making union leaders more accountable to unionized employees, and reforming Ontario’s workplace agencies to encourage job creation, McNaughton added.
“We need to haul Ontario’s labour laws into the 21st century – just as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States have,” McNaughton said. In the U.S., for example, states that have enacted similar reforms saw 11 per cent higher income growth, 11 per cent higher economic growth and a three per cent increase in employment growth between 2001 and 2010.
“Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus recognize that the world has changed, and that our economy has changed with it – but that the rules governing the workplace, and the way unions are run, are stuck in the 1940s,” McNaughton concluded.