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Council backs Rand formula, rejects ‘right-to-work’ legislation

The Globe and Mail reports, “Starting on Monday, radio listeners in the London and Kitchener-Waterloo markets will hear an urgent plea to ‘fight back’ against ‘the damage union power is doing to Ontario’.”

Maude Barlow and Sid Ryan
Photo: Barlow and Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan.

The voice in the ad, Canadian Federation of Independent Business head Catherine Swift (who Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew debated earlier this week), says, “In the last Ontario election, union bosses spent over $6-million to ensure their influence over another union-friendly government. (The result is) higher taxes, higher deficits, higher unemployment (that make it) harder and harder for you to get ahead.” The article comments these assertions are made despite the reality that, “Taxes have not gone up in any significant way since the last election; the deficit has gone down, albeit more slowly than many would wish; (and) organized labour’s culpability for unemployment rates is highly debatable.”

The news report also notes that, “the future of organized labour will be front and centre, courtesy of Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s flirtation with ‘right-to-work’ policy. …Mr. Hudak (also) wants to get rid of the Rand Formula, which requires all employees in unionized workplaces to pay dues.”

Last June, prior to the federal Conservative policy convention in Calgary (where Common Causes organized a counter-forum), then-CEP president Dave Coles wrote, “In what would be an even more radical attack on collective bargaining, the forthcoming Conservative party convention will debate a series of resolutions that would effectively eliminate unions’ financial security and the so-called Rand formula. One proposal explicitly calls for a U.S.-style ‘right to work legislation to allow optional union membership’.”

The Council of Canadians stands ready to challenge attacks by the federal and provincial Conservatives against working people.

In Ontario that moment may come very soon. Yesterday, the Toronto Star reported, “Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and New Democrats are now preparing for an election campaign that might come in May.” That said, if the Progressive Conservatives win the upcoming by-elections (on February 13) in Niagara Falls and Thornhill, “(NDP leader Andrea) Horwath’s forces may choose to regroup and live to fight another day instead of helping him (Hudak) oust (Ontario premier Kathleen) Wynne’s Grits.”

The Council of Canadians stands with labour against the assaults by Hudak and big business, and we reject ‘right to work’ legislation (as seen in Wisconsin) and any attempt to undermine the Rand formula as an attack on all working people.

Further reading
Barlow addresses the Ontario Federation of Labour
Conservative government attacks working people
Senate reject’s Harper’s C-377 (the so-called union disclosure) legislation