FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2014
Niagara Falls Voters Reject Hudak’s Attack on Workers
(NIAGARA FALLS, ON) ─ Tonight’s byelection win for the NDP in Niagara Falls demonstrates that voters have rejected Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s divisive attack on the province’s workers, says Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan.
“Hudak’s embarrassing defeat in his own backyard gives Tory backbenchers the ammunition they need to pound home the message that undermining workers’ rights will cost them dearly at the polls,” said Ryan. “The Tory membership has been deeply divided about scapegoating working people and, tonight, Niagara voters confirmed their worst fears.”
“In communities across Niagara Falls, Tim Hudak has tried to drive a wedge between neighbours. He has blamed unionized workers for every evil under the sun – from plant closures to the polar vortex – but voters aren’t buying it,” said Ryan. “Ontarians know that labour unions aren’t responsible for a sputtering economy and that unions have built the middle class and lifted the bar for every worker.”
The spectacular Tory loss in Niagara Falls marks the third such defeat in recent byelections. Just as they did in Kitchener-Waterloo and London, the Conservatives threw incredible resources into an anti-union campaign in Niagara Falls that failed to gain traction with voters. Hudak’s calls for an end to mandatory union dues drew harsh opposition even within his own ranks.
“The Ontario Federation of Labour has proudly supported NDP candidate Wayne Gates in this election. We have encouraged working people to donate their time to bring a more positive message to voters. It is democracy at its best,” said Ryan. “Tonight’s defeat should send a stark message to the Tories that Ontarians want fairness and good jobs, not scapegoating.”
“The OFL will be building on tonight’s result by launching a province-wide campaign to educate workers and their families about the dangers of Hudak’s low-wage agenda,” said Ryan. “Starting in Durham on February 27, we will be rolling out a campaign in more than 20 cities. This is just the beginning.”
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