OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas: By-election results a clear message to Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives
August 2, 2013
Service Employees Union President Thomas says by-election results show
most people reject Progressive Conservatives plans for austerity,
reduced community services and regressive American style labour rights.
“Time to hit the
reset button,” Thomas said. “The people in 4 of 5 ridings rejected
extreme policies, even though by-elections are often simply an
opportunity to protest government performance.”
Thomas added: “It
was also great to see change through the election of NDP candidates in 2
Ontario will benefit from action to reduce income inequality, improve
public services, address unemployment, and generally upgrade government
investments in communities. Specifically, the American style approach to
labour rights, proposed by the PCs, is of concern.
“Labour rights are
human rights,” said Thomas. “Changes that undermine union rights and
membership are foreign to Canada and have been a dismal failure in U.S.
states that have adopted such measures. Hudak seeks to attack the middle
class through such changes, to benefit just the wealthiest Ontarians.”
Ontarians want change that will instead rebuild middle class prosperity.
“The quality services provided by OPSEU members, that support average
Ontarians, have been cut by PCs and Liberals alike,” Thomas said.
“Ontarians signaled that it is now time to end this failed approach to
Thomas added: “OPSEU
members embrace and support change. They believe in a better future
based on solid public serves and humane and balanced government
policies. Like most voters, they reject extreme ideological positions
from the right, designed to divide people and alienate individuals and
families from their neighbours, the community, and the political
Thomas added: “Our
union is committed to achieving this better future for Ontario. It’s up
to the Liberal government and PC opposition to recognize this as well.”
Warren (Smokey) Thomas