TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - "The McGuinty wage freeze bill is an unnecessary attack on workers and collective bargaining. Picking a fight that tramples on workers' rights is unproductive and misguided. It won't fix the economy or erase the deficit," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.
"A legislated wage freeze and a vetting process for new contracts shows an absolute disregard for democratic collective bargaining rights in Ontario," said Marty Warren, Assistant to Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada).
"The McGuinty Liberals wasted millions of public dollars cancelling gas plants in a desperate attempt to win seats in the last election. That shows their disregard for democracy and the rights of the public, and so does this bill," Warren added.
The legislation will impose a two-year wage freeze on collective agreements in the broader public sector including the university and health care sectors. The bill also gives the government power to reject collective agreements and impose contracts.
The USW represents more than 8,500 workers in the broader public sector including 8,000 university staff employees at the University of Guelph, Queen's University, and the University of Toronto and its federated colleges Victoria University and the University of St. Michael's College and 500 workers in the health care sector.
"This is a direct attack on our members and our allies," said Neumann. "The labour movement will stand together and fight this bill. If this bill is unconstitutional, and we will challenge it, it's not going to stick and the legal fight will just end up costing the government money. What a waste."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
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