Queen’s Park – As tens of thousands of LiUNA members rallied at Queen’s Park today, Ontario NDP MPP for Essex, Taras Natyshak, demanded that the Liberal government reverse a draconian and divisive schedule tucked away in the Liberal’s most recent budget bill that results in harmful consequences and unnecessarily pits unions against each other.
“Once again this Liberal government says one thing when it comes to being a friend of working people and then does another,” said Natyshak. “Once again this Liberal government has chosen, through omnibus legislation, to introduce changes that favour one party to effectively pick a fight and then stand back and watch.”
The divisive schedule effectively strips tens of thousands of construction workers and members of LiUNA, the union representing construction workers in Ontario, of the collective agreement and bargaining rights they’ve had for decades. The move essentially pushes them toward another union and pits both unions against each other. Natyshak warned that the move not only results in immediate labour shortages, jeopardizes the economic welfare and pension security of retirees as well as the health and safety of workers in the sector but also impedes the productivity of a sector that has literally built the communities in this province.
“In what universe does the Minister of Labour believe that it’s appropriate and frankly even constitutional for the minister of the crown to arbitrarily strip unionized workers of their historic collective bargaining jurisdiction and hand-deliver that jurisdiction to another union,” Natyshak asked.
“Will the minister reverse this draconian legislation, create a level playing field for all workers in this industry, and remove the dangerous, precedent-setting clause that the Liberal government brought in through their budget legislation,” asked Natyshak.