Progressive Conservatives want “right-to-work” in Ontario

TORONTO – The Progressive Conservatives want to make Ontario a so-called “right-to-work” province to help attract business investment and jobs.

The Conservatives call it “forced unionism,” and say they want to give people the right to decide whether or not to join the union at their workplace and pay dues.

Deputy PC Leader Christine Elliott says right-to-work legislation would give companies the flexibility they need to adapt to changing conditions in the global economy.

The Tories say U.S. states that adopted right-to-work laws create more jobs and workers get higher raises, but Elliott struggled when asked if she could point to one such jurisdiction where wages actually went up.

The New Democrats say right-to-work laws squeeze more people out of the middle class and would not help Ontario’s economy because no one will have any money to spend.

After Michigan became the 24th U.S. state to pass a right-to-work law Monday, President Barrack Obama said it was really about “the right to work for less money.”




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Progressive Conservatives want “right-to-work” in Ontario

  1. They’re already ahead in the polls despite losing the election. I doubt there are new voters to attract by walking over to the crazy side of the fence. What gives?

    • Kinda agree. I think a case can be made for making that part of union dues used for political activities optional, but this is far more than that. It seems unlikely to win new supporters, and likely to lose some current ones, as it will almost certainly be seen as an attempt to drive down the wages of private sector unionized workers.

    • You might be surprised to hear that quite a few people don’t think that teachers should be able to strike. Hudak is perhaps just saying he agrees with the Liberals on that point.

  2. Another of Hudak’s many intellectually lazy, hare-brained ideas that, like the others before it, will fail to gain traction in the minds of anyone outside of the lunatic fringes of the right wing.

    But fear not, if this idea doesn’t catch fire, he’ll have a different one next week.

  3. This morning on the radio, I heard Monte McNaughton, who is Hudak’s point man on “right to work” attempting to explain why they would like to do it. Despite being asked repeatedly how exactly it will improve the climate for business, he simply dodged the question(s), choosing instead to speak in circles while dropping in phrases like “labour market flexibility” and “workers first” every once in a while. He couldn’t make a business case for it, because this is not a business issue. This is ideological warfare, and the Conservatives, like their Republican cousins to the south are going after their perceived enemies. The fact that he continually referred to the union leadership as “union bosses” tipped his hand. McGuinty and the Liberals are finished, but the prospect of a Premier Hudak makes me sick to my stomach.

    • I would never work in an environment that forced me to join a union. Why should I be forced to join a union as a condition of employment?

      • To guard against free ridership and differential treatment designed to undermine the union. duh.

        • Who protects employees from unions destroying firms (and jobs)?

          If people are not happy to do the job for the pay on offer, they should let someone else who is willing take their place. I fail to see the benefit of a union in this case. The union employee makes more than the market wage, and the other guy is unemployed. Or, the firm is forced to close and both are unemployed. Or, the firm is forced to make capital investments to eliminate the job, and both people are unemployed.

          It is an inefficient allocation of resources.

          • So you’re advocating for the continuing race to the bottom? There will always be someone who is willing to accept a lower wage in order to have a job – just exactly where do you draw the line?

          • That is demonstrably untrue. Most jobs are non union, including many well paid Jonas.

          • We’ll see what happens to the Toyota/Honda workers wages if the CAW is destroyed by Hoodat, they will receive major pay cuts overnight. Why do you think the Camaro plant is moving to Michigan, Right to Work for Less is law there now. Wanna have a Alabama Standard of Living?

          • Nobody. Who protects employees from employers destroying firms and jobs? Hell, if anything, employees have *less* protection from that than they do from unions, because they at least have a say in the union actions.

            Besides, if there’s really all these people around who are willing to work for less than the union wage, start up your own non-unionized company. You should be able to undercut the unionized firm right quick and make a killing.

          • Most firms have a strong incentive to remain going concerns. Not many firms intentionally destroy themselves. And I don’t know how you could legislate against business failure. Nationalize them perhaps?

          • Most unions have a strong incentive to remain going concerns. Not many unions intentionally destroy themselves either.

          • Unions regularly destroy individual firms rather than grant precedent-setting concessions that might have implications far beyond that firm. Only when entire industries are on the verge of collapse do they seem willing to consider concessions.

            Unions are dead weight. The don’t create economic value. They are a parasitic drain on worker wages and extract rents from the rest of society through monopoly/cartel power enforced by law.

          • Regularly? Well then.. that should be easy enough for you to cite three or four examples.

            Assuming you’re not simply talking out of your arse.

          • The John Deere plant in Welland, the Colgate plant in Toronto, the GM plant in St Catharines.

            Of course, you won’t be satisfied.

          • Right to Work for Less in the States is great, employers have bidding wars for shifts, the lowest payrate bid gets the shift. It’ll be great for the ONE PERCENTERS, not so great for the new poverty class, old middle class.

        • Duh???? You are living in lala land if you think that unions don’t support “differential treatment’ for employees with different levels of seniority. Just ask the new hires at Canada Post. They are making alot less than the earlier hires did. I experienced the “differential treatment’ first-hand when my union co-members cut a better deal for the “more experienced’ members and left the younger members to the wolves. It is all about solidarity until it isn’t and then it is just about greed for those of us with 15 years experience.

          • Think harder.

      • Somebody put a gun to your head and said “You have to go work at that union plant”? No? Then you’re not forced to join a union.

        • I find that unreasonable and tyrannical. What about the leftie dream of very high unionization rate? Isn’t that just about denying workers the choice of whether they belong to a union? Well that and maximizing dues for the kleptocratic leadership and rent seeking behavior.

          • You find it unreasonable and tyrannical that if you don’t want to join a union, you shouldn’t seek employment at a union shop? LOL.. seriously?

            Next you’ll be telling me that if you don’t want to work as an accountant, it’s unreasonable to suggest you shouldn’t seek employment at KPMG, or if you don’t want to be in law enforcement you shouldn’t seek employment at the police station.

            And again I point out that if you really don’t want to work at a union shop, there is nothing that prevents you from starting up your own non-union shop. Or is it also unreasonable and tyrannical to expect you to get off your ass and take initiative if the job you want isn’t handed to you?

          • I could start my own shop, but have no power to keep it non unionized. And forcing workers into self employment to avoid unions is an injustice. If the worker and the employer both don’t want a union, why should the union be allowed to impose itself on those two parties?

          • Of course you have the power, you simply have to provide working conditions such that the employees don’t see any benefit in unionizing.

            Forcing workers into self-employment to avoid unions is no more an injustice than forcing workers into self-employment to avoid bad bosses.

            If the worker and the employer both don’t want a union then, again, they should start a firm that doesn’t have a union and provides working conditions good enough that the employees don’t feel they need one.

          • That’s called union busting, and generally illegal in Canada.

          • No. It’s not. That’s called being a smart businessman. Union busting is what happens when there’s already union talk going around in your workplace (because you weren’t a smart businessman) and you take action then specifically to derail organization attempts.

            Union busting has nothing to do with running a business in such a way that the employees have no drive to start a union.

            So it seems you may want to figure out what the facts around unions actually are before you start whining.

          • So the choices are to run a business with above market rates, competing against business that pay market rates, and go out of business, or be unionized?

          • I thought you were the one claiming that there are all these workers out there who don’t want to be unionized. Obviously if that’s the case, the actual market rates are below the union levels, yes?

            So there’s your wiggle room.

          • The key thing here is that this proposal doesn’t ban unions, it gives workers a choice. I don’t understand why you should be arguing against it.

          • They already have that choice, as I pointed out before.
            If you don’t want to work at a union shop.. don’t.

          • I don’t think we’re going to convince each other. Suffice to say that the PCs will likely win the next election and may implement this policy.

          • Indeed, the phrase isn’t “ignorant masses” for nothing, after all.

      • Nobody in Ontario has ever been forced to work in a union, stop spreading lies.

  4. Tim Hudak won’t be satisfied until he has ruined Ontario and we are all making minimum wages.

  5. “Right-to-freeload” is more like it. Conservatives like to (wine) whine about entitlement, but this is ridiculous: flip the birdy to your coworkers, stiff the union so nobody can afford to strike, and cut wages because nobody’s in the union anymore (why bother, when you can freeload?).

    Yes, I know the conservative element fought against unions, siccing the army and mafia on union workers, but this is utterly insane.

    BUZZ OFF, HUDAK!

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