Tag Archive: poverty


Below and attached is a detailed background document providing analysis of Tim Hudak’s recent white paper on “Flexible Labour Markets.” Hudak’s paper poses a threat to the livelihoods of all working people by proposing to eliminate workers’ right to collectively bargain and by driving wages down across the board.

Please circulate the attached analysis to your members so they can challenge Hudak’s arguments in the workplace, in their communities, and in the media.

In solidarity,

Sid Ryan

President of the Ontario Federation of Labour

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OFL BACKGROUNDER

Tim Hudak’s White Paper on Flexible Labour Markets

Published on July 16, 2012Courtesty of TARA WALTON/TORONTO STAR

Flexible Labour Means Cheap labour

In June 2012, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak opened up a new attack on labour unions and working people with his release of his white paper on “Flexible Labour Markets.” The paper lays out the Tories’ new platform on workers’ rights and unveils an economic scheme for the province that is centered on reduced public services and cheap labour. Blindly aligning their interests with those of profit-hungry corporations, the Tories fault unions for the province’s economic difficulties while offering no plan for creating new jobs, revitalizing the manufacturing sector or securing greater corporate investments in the provincial economy. They propose to bring Wisconsin-style laws to Ontario that would eliminate the rights of workers to collectively bargain and drive wages down for all workers. Hudak’s proposal is a plan for poverty, not prosperity, and it requires strong opposition from workers from every sector, whether union or non-union.

Flexible Labour Means Cheap labour

Throughout the white paper, Hudak laments the wages and benefits secured by workers in Ontario’s manufacturing sector and blames the workers for expecting to maintain middle-class wages to support their families. For Hudak, “prosperity” means turning Ontario into a low-wage, regulation-free haven where corporations rake in profit at the expense of Ontario workers, communities and the environment. “Flexible labour” means cheap labour.

In this respect, Hudak differs little from his federal counterpart Stephen Harper, who, as Prime Minister, has presided over an expanded Temporary Foreign Worker Program, allowing employers greater leeway to import people from all over the world with precious little obligation for their well-being. When the work is done, or if the worker is maimed on the job, they are literally disposed of—sent back to their home countries with nary a thought. Most recently, the Harper government gave employers the green light to pay migrant workers between 5 and 15 percent less than the average wage for that occupation

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#DearLaureen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#DearLaureen Harper,

​Citizens for Social Justice would like to thank you for taking the time to visit the City of Oshawa and recognizing the plight of homeless youth in our community. While you’re in town to attend a fundraiser for The Refuge, a homeless youth drop-in centre, we’d like to offer some practical policy proposals to combat poverty and homelessness.
​We’ve been told you are bringing a couple of neck-ties belonging to your husband and Minister Baird for auction at the fundraiser. With skyrocketing youth unemployment, good jobs leaving our community, and a lack of youth shelters and affordable housing, we think it’s going to take more than a couple of neck-ties to address the problems of youth poverty and homelessness.
​In return for the neck-ties, we’d like to offer you some practical poverty reduction strategies to bring back to Ottawa:
1) Create a comprehensive national housing strategy to bring good, affordable housing to our community;
2) Ensure all homeless youth have access to social services regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender;
3) Increase funding for addiction and mental health services;
4) Implement a job creation strategy to bring back good paying jobs to our community; and
5) Re-open the Youth Employment Centres that were recently cut in the federal budget.
Again, we’d like to thank you for recognizing the need to address youth homelessness in our community. Now, it’s time for this government to make poverty reduction and youth homelessness a priority through social policy at the federal level. We need less neck-ties and more action.

Sincerely,
Citizens for Social Justice:

For Labour and community groups:

We want to initiate a twitter/Facebook campaign to coincide with this press release. We would like to use the hashtag #DearLaureen and use it to offer poverty reduction solutions one tweet at a time. Please spread this widely to your network of social justice, labour, and poverty reduction activists and ask them to post a tweet with the hashtag “#DearLaureen”!
Here are some examples:
#DearLaureen, while neck-ties are nice a National Housing Strategy would be better.
#DearLaureen, neck-ties may raise some money but re-opening Youth Employment Centres reduces youth poverty.
#DearLaureen, neck-ties don’t put youth to work or create jobs.
#DearLaureen, tell Steve to keep the neck-tie – our community needs mental health and addiction counselling.
#DearLaureen, please ask your husband to create a REAL job creation strategy!