The right to work ... for lessThursday, October 03, 2013 by: Kate AdamsThe Ontario Public Service Employees Union are sounding warning bells and rallying the troops, not just for union members but the public as well, to halt Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak’s plans to change the province’s labour laws.
Union brass says what Hudak is proposing is the American style right to work policies they say will be the destruction to the Canadian way of life.
To support their case local OPSEU members officially launched a new documentary video “Made in the USA: Tim Hudak’s plans to cut your wages,” Wednesday night at the Union Hall on Fraser Street.
The video takes viewers on a road trip to the U.S., where 24 states now allow workers in union shops to receive the benefits of union representation without paying the dues that make those benefits possible. An Ontario PC white paper published in 2012 proposes bringing the same kind of law to Ontario.
OPSEU hired veteran journalist Bill Gillespie to take a camera crew through Michigan and Ohio to South Carolina, which has been a so-called “right to work” state since 1954.
“Tim Hudak’s plans to change labour laws are not just about unions,” said Mike Bisaillon, North Bay’s Elected Board Member
“The number one effect of ‘right-to-work’ laws is to drive down wages and benefits for all working people, unionized or not. This kind of legislation would be an outright tragedy for all Ontarians.”
“Union members across the province are gearing up for a major fight against U.S.-style labour legislation in Ontario,” said Bisaillon, noting that ‘Made in the USA’ is intended as an educational tool in that fight.
“There is a lot of great research out there about the dangers of ‘right to work’ laws,” He said.
“Our goal in producing this video was to present that research in a way that was accessible to a wide audience. By presenting the facts through the stories of people who have personal experience with right-to-work laws, we’ve succeeded in doing that.”
Bisaillon says his members plan to speak with Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and get his position on record.
He says they are also moving to bring other unions together and form a united front to block right to work efforts not only in Ontario but Canada as a whole.