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Unifor to keep pushing Ontario government

TORONTO, July 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Today's Speech from the Throne in Ontario makes a lot of promises for change, and Unifor will be watching closely to make sure those changes happen, Unifor National President Jerry Dias says.

"During the election campaign, Kathleen Wynne repeatedly expressed her belief that government can be a force of good - and Unifor will continue to push the Liberals hard to ensure they lead Ontario towards prosperity," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

Today's Throne Speech repeated the Liberal election promise to reintroduce the budget of May 1, which was defeated when the NDP and Conservatives voted against, triggering the June 12 election.

"That budget contained some good features to help working families," Dias said. "But many details of its promises still need to be worked out."

Dias said Unifor is determined to ensure the Liberals make good on their promise to be a government that is a force for good, and take action to protect and strengthen workers' rights, create good jobs, rebuild our manufacturing sector, protect public services, reduce poverty and build stronger, more inclusive communities.

Dias called on Associate Finance Minister Mitizi Hunter - charged with working out details of the planned Ontario Retirement Pension Plan - to surround herself with the right experts, including from labour, to ensure every Ontario worker has access to a guaranteed level of support in their old age.

"No one should be left guessing whether or not they'll be able to afford groceries in retirement," Dias said.

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund is a likewise worthy idea that has potential to help reinvigorate Ontario's manufacturing sector, Dias said.

"We expect Premier Wynne's commitment to consultation and her history of considering outside expertise will ensure that the Fund is set up with the involvement of labour and industry leaders," he said.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.