LONDON, ONTARIO — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has chosen the sidelines of the Ontario PC Convention as the right venue to premier a new documentary about Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak's plan to bring American-style labour laws to Ontario.
The embattled Tory leader is under siege from disgruntled elements in his own party going into this weekend's policy convention in London, Ontario.
He also has the Ontario labour movement gearing up for a fight over his proposal to enact a U.S.-style "right-to-work" law if he is elected Premier in the next election.
The OPSEU-funded documentary called Made in the USA: Tim Hudak's plan to cut your wages was produced by respected journalist and documentary filmmaker Bill Gillespie, who takes viewers on a road trip through Michigan, the most recent U.S. state to adopt the anti-union legislation, to South Carolina, which introduced it in 1954.
"The kind of labour legislation Tim Hudak is proposing will not boost Ontario's economy and will not reduce unemployment," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "It will, however, reduce wages for union and non-union workers alike and continue the rapid erosion of the middle class. We produced this film because we want a wide audience to understand exactly what Hudak has in store for Ontarians should we ever be silly enough to let him near the Premier's chair."
Right-to-work laws, known in union circles as "free rider" laws, allow individuals in unionized workplaces to receive the benefits of union representation without paying the dues that make those benefits possible. In Canada, such laws would run counter to an historic 1946 ruling by Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand. In the U.S., in contrast, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 rolled back union-friendly laws from the Roosevelt era and permitted right-to-work laws in states that chose to adopt them.
"Tim Hudak says he wants to 'modernize' Ontario laws, but rather than taking us into the future his proposals would send us back to the Great Depression," said Thomas. "Weakening unions would sap consumer spending at a time when consumer debt is at an all-time high and low-income employment is on the rise. And poor workers make poor customers."
"What Hudak is proposing is a weak economy in which the low wages of workers subsidize the high profits of employers," he said. "That's not what we want for Ontario, and it's not what we want for the next generation."
English with closed captioning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbrxe3X04OE&feature=youtu.be
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Français (sous-titres) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbrxe3X04OE&feature=youtu.be
Pour mettre les sous-titres, cliquez sur « cc » en bas de l’écran et choisissez Français.
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas (613) 329-1931 (cell)
Bill Gillespie (647) 786-4332 (cell)