TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The surprise announcement from Tim Hudak this morning that his Ontario Progressive Conservative party is dropping its plan to kill the Rand formula in the province is welcome, but his many other threats to working people continue and will not be tolerated, Unifor National President Jerry Dias says.
"Tim Hudak has removed the centre piece of his backward policies, but he still intends to turn the clock back on labour legislation in this province," said Dias.
"He is clearly panicking after finding no support for his polices and a big loss in the Niagara by-election where his plan to kill the Rand formula was an issue with voters," Dias said.
The Rand formula sets out that while workers can choose whether to join a union, they must pay dues to the union they are covered by under the collective agreement it negotiates with the employer.
Hudak backed off his controversial policy, which many is his own party did not support, during a breakfast address to the Toronto Board of Trade this morning.
"The Rand formula helps ensure labour peace in this province, and the companies understand that - which is why they did not support Hudak's plan," Dias said.
"I think it's significant that the only time his address was interrupted by applause was when he announced that his party would not pursue killing the Rand Formula. This was a business crowd, and that's what they came to hear," Dias said.
Roland Kiehne, chair of the union's manufacturing sector, pointed out that Hudak said he now had higher priorities - such as lower energy prices - than killing the Rand formula, but did not say that he has come to see how bad an idea it was it the first place.
"He's left the door open to pursuing this backwards policy in the future, so we will need to be vigilant and make sure the threat is removed completely," Kiehne said.
Kiehne also said that Hudak's promise in the address to eliminate assistance for solar and wind power, and to end the College of Trades, would be job killers in the province.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, with more than 300,000 members across Canada and more than 158,000 in Ontario. It was formed last Labour Day weekend when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.