Construction/Building — January 18, 2013

Hudak Pathways to Prosperity is a Pathway to Poverty

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2013) - Local labour leader John Gibson today called Conservative leader Tim Hudak's plans for Ontario a Pathway to Poverty. Mr. Gibson made his remarks in response to the Conservative leader's speech to the London Construction Association.

"Tim Hudak is playing into the hands of corporate interests at the expense of working families by proposing policies like 'Right-to-Work' and 1:1 apprenticeship ratios," said John Gibson, business manager of local 120 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "This will make Ontario a low wage, low skill economy like we find in many southern American states."

A key plank in the Conservative Party of Ontario platform is the introduction of so called Right-to-Work laws, that only benefits corporations and weaken unions. This proposal would allow workers in unionized workplaces to receive the benefits of union membership without the requirement to help fund these services. In every case in the United States, these laws have led to lower wages and reduced union density. In the development of his report that led to the "Rand Formula" Justice Rand noted that there should be no free riders when it came to enjoying the benefits of working in a unionized workplace.

Additionally, Mr. Hudak has proposed an across the board apprenticeship ratio of 1 apprentice for each journeyperson (1:1) in the employ of a contractor. This policy will likely cause Ontario's poor apprenticeship completion rates to become even worse as employers scramble to exploit young workers as a source of cheap labour without any intention of ensuring these people become qualified tradespeople.

"Surely the objective of apprenticeship policy should be to help young workers enter the skilled trades leading to a meaningful career," said Gibson. "The aim should not be creating false apprenticeship opportunities that a young worker has little or no prospect of completing. We must let industry experts make decisions on apprenticeship ratios and keep politicians out of our business."

IBEW Local 120 represents over 600 licensed electricians and apprentices in Huron, Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford counties.

Contact Information

Local 120 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
John Gibson
Business Manager
Cell: 519.868.7049

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