Hudak Officially Gives Up ‘Right-to-Work’ Proposal

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader, Tim Hudak, has taken a step back from his own party’s proposal to bring controversial anti-union “right to work” legislation to the province. Mr. Hudak revealed to have decided not to go ahead with the proposal in a breakfast speech to a business audience in Toronto on Friday. Mr. Hudak straightforwardly stated not to abolish mandatory union dues if elected premier, and said that “we’re not going to do it,” adding that “we won’t touch the Rand Formula.”

The party had previously considered a shady proposal based on a controversial idea in a policy paper more than a year ago, which Mr. Hudak endorsed until last fall, as a technique to attract more businesses and compete with American jurisdictions. According to the supporters of the proposal, the right to work legislation was intended to make it easier for businesses, whereas critics argued that it will starve unions of dues, force them to shut down and consequentially lead to lower wages.

The proposed policy split Mr. Hudak’s party since many members argued that it would cost votes in working class ridings, while others feared it would further galvanize unions, especially particularly firefighters, police and paramedics, to campaign against the party. The disparity among party members came to light when Windsor-area PC candidate, Dave Brister, openly criticized it on twitter and condemned Mr. Hudak’s labour critic. However, in response to his boldness, Mr. Brister was deprived of his nomination and Mr. Hudak stepped back from right to work. However, he did not utterly give up the idea it until Friday.

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