Hillier Proposes Freedom with New Labour Reform Legislation

(QUEEN’S PARK) - Randy Hillier, Ontario PC Labour Critic, introduced the final two pieces of legislation yesterday as part of his series on labour reform. Hillier introduced the third and fourth Bills of his four-part package for labour reform in Ontario.

The Defending Employees Rights Act (Certification of Trade Unions), 2012, would put an end to the unfair and undemocratic practice of card based certification in the construction industry.

“As a former member of a union, the thought of card based certification as a legal process in this Province is appalling,” said Hillier. “This Legislation is not about being anti-union, its about being pro-democracy, and standing up for the right of freedom of association, something card based certification significantly undermines.”

Currently, individuals on a construction jobsite can unionize without ever holding a vote, and without the majority consent of the workforce. This Act would put an end to this glaring wrong, and require that a secret ballot vote must be held before a trade union in the construction industry can be certified.

Hillier also introduced The Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Alternate Insurance Plans), 2012. The Bill amends the WSIA to allow an employer to choose an alternate insurance plan provided by a private-sector insurer. The Bill also repeals the amendments introduced by the McGuinty Government that forced independent contractors in the construction industry to purchase insurance through WSIB, regardless of whether they were already insured on their own.

Various reports state that the unfunded liability of the WSIB is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $16-20+ Billion, depending on whether or not full indexation for partial disabilities is included.

“Workplace safety insurance is the only facet of the insurance industry that is controlled solely by the Government,” said Hillier. “It ought to be intuitive to all that Government’s should not be responsible, and certainly not hold a monopoly, over an industry they clearly are incapable of operating.”

This four-part labour reform package is an important step to stimulating private sector job creation in Ontario.