Unifor boss challenges Hudak to debate “anywhere, any time”

Jerry Dias says Hudak is promoting legislation that would gut Ontario labour laws.

February 4, 2014   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO – The national president of Canada’s largest private sector union has invited Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak to a debate “anywhere, anytime” over Hudak’s proposals to gut labour laws in the province.

“I have been through your plan, and quite simply the numbers just don’t add up,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias wrote in a letter to Hudak.

Hudak has promoted legislation that would curtail workplace rights for Ontario, the union says. Unifor counters that US states that have brought in such laws have seen a race to the bottom, with lower wages, unsafe workplaces and less money spent on schools and health.

All that, and with no difference in job creation, Dias said in his letter.

“No one wants that for Ontario,” Dias wrote.

In his letter, Dias points that it would be far better for the two leaders to get together and debate the issue face-to-face.

“I am prepared to meet you anywhere, any time to debate this important issue,” Dias wrote.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, with more than 300,000 members across Canada, and some 156,000 in Ontario. It was founded when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.