Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi voiced Unifor’s strong opposition to the deep financial cuts and overall economic strategy of the Ford government as she presented the union’s budget recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
“This budget is tabled at a time when Ontarians have lost confidence in this government. We have seen an aggressive agenda of funding cuts and legislative attacks on the vulnerable and on workers, and the people of Ontario have expressed their outrage,” said Rizvi. “Let’s be clear - the attack on the most vulnerable people in this province is nothing short of a disgrace.”
At the January 17 pre-budget consultation hearing at Queen’s Park, Rizvi cited damaging government policies including the cancellation of the $15 minimum wage, the rolling back of sick days and the elimination of equal pay for equal work.
Rizvi also called out Doug Ford for opening the door to for-profit health care services, attacking school board workers and creating chaos in education, and for his Conservative government’s ongoing neglect of manufacturing workers.
“In recent months, this government has stood by while approximately 2,300 highly skilled assembly line workers and 1,200 independent parts supplier workers have lost their jobs in the Durham region,” Rizvi said. “Our communities are being decimated by the huge loss of manufacturing jobs.”
During her address to the Committee, Rizvi stressed the need for investment in electric vehicle technology and manufacturing, and repeated the union’s warning about lack of production orders at the Bombardier facility in Thunder Bay.
“It is time for a strong commitment to a “Buy Ontario” strategy that will put workers first and grow the province’s manufacturing sector into the future,” Rizvi stated.
Read Unifor’s Ontario Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs here.