As the Ontario government grapples with boosting the minimum wage, the issue of wages and jobs are becoming increasingly important in the province.
PC party leader Tim Hudak has promised to bring in so-called ‘right-to-work’ labour laws in the province which critics say would drive down wages.
The issue is flaring up in the current Niagara Falls by election where Hudak has been accused of trying to downplay his view on organized labour in a part of the province with a strong union presence.
Kim Kent, President of the Stratford Labour Council says this approach to labour legislation has been tried in the United States with predictable results.
Kent says this type of legislation would impact all workers and not just those in unions.
Right-to-work laws allow union members to opt out of paying union dues while still receiving services from their union.
Kent uses a public transportation analogy to explain why this is a problem.
Support for right-to-work legislation is not universal amongst Conservatives.
Kent points out that Senator Hugh Segal, among many others, has spoken out against it.
The provincial by elections in Niagara Falls and Thornhill will take place on February 13th.