Ontario opposition leader proposes labour law changes

Workers should be able to opt out of union membership: Hudak
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 06/27/2012

Ontario labour laws are outdated and in need of reform, according to Ontario opposition leader, Tim Hudak.

Unveiling his party’s “white paper” at Queen’s Park on June 27, the Progressive Conservative leader said Ontario’s current labour laws are restrictive and preventing jobs from being created in the province.

“Our failure to adapt to the realities of a 21st-century economy is holding us back,” said Hudak. “It’s time for Ontario to re-examine outdated workplace rules that date back to the 1940s and adapt them to the much more flexible requirements of today’s employees.”

The paper suggests Ontario workers should be able to opt out of union membership and union dues, and employers shouldn’t be obligated to collect those dues on behalf of unions.

“The provincial government should lead the way by ending these automatic paycheque deductions,” the 20-page paper reads. “Private sector employers should have the option.”

The paper also calls for “full and transparent disclosure of their revenues and how they spend their funds.” The request is similar to a private member’s bill currently moving its way through the Ontario legislature.

The report also proposes changes to how the Ontario Labour Relations Board functions.

“Ensure the (OLRB) functions as an impartial and efficient arbiter of disputes,” the paper suggests. “Its role should be strictly adjudicatory with rules and regulations as minimally invasive as possible.”

The paper also suggests private companies be allowed to compete with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to provide workplace insurance coverage.

“Allowing private insurers into the market would provide employers with choices, not just as to which company, but on the specific details of coverage,” the PC paper says. “Mandatory coverage at equal or better terms would still be in place, and an employer would be required to present proof of membership in an alternate plan before they would be allowed to opt out of the WSIB.”

There has yet to be reaction from labour unions.

Read the report in its entirety: Paths to prosperity: Flexible labour markets

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