The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the Ford government’s assault on the collective bargaining rights of their members at Ontario Hydro sets a dangerous and unacceptable precedent. Back-to-work legislation was passed at Queen’s Park today, even though members of the Ontario Power Workers Union (CUPE Local 1000) had not even gone on strike. CUPE says the government’s actions are disproportionate and extremely disappointing.

“It’s a sad day for workers in Ontario when the premier doesn’t even try to help the parties get a fair deal at the bargaining table – and instead reaches for the nuclear button,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “How can any worker in Ontario expect their employer to bargain fairly and in good faith? What employer will negotiate in good faith when they know they have government legislation in their back pocket?”

“If the government won’t end its attack on workers’ rights in Ontario, then CUPE and our 258,000 members province-wide will mobilize to ensure our constitutional rights are respected,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury.

CUPE restated its belief that workers shouldn’t be punished for exercising their constitutionally-protected right to free and fair collective bargaining. The Ford government should have been working to facilitate a return to the table, but yet again, Ontario’s so-called “government of the people” sided firmly, and immediately, with management.