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OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas: By-election results a clear message to Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives

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Ontario Public Service Employees Union President Thomas says by-election results show most people reject Progressive Conservatives plans for austerity, reduced community services and regressive American style labour rights.

"Time to hit the reset button," Thomas said. "The people in 4 of 5 ridings rejected extreme policies, even though by-elections are often simply an opportunity to protest government performance."

Thomas added: "It was also great to see change through the election of NDP candidates in 2 ridings."

OPSEU believes Ontario will benefit from action to reduce income inequality, improve public services, address unemployment, and generally upgrade government investments in communities. Specifically, the American style approach to labour rights, proposed by the PCs, is of concern.

"Labour rights are human rights," said Thomas. "Changes that undermine union rights and membership are foreign to Canada and have been a dismal failure in U.S. states that have adopted such measures. Hudak seeks to attack the middle class through such changes, to benefit just the wealthiest Ontarians."

Thomas said Ontarians want change that will instead rebuild middle class prosperity. "The quality services provided by OPSEU members, that support average Ontarians, have been cut by PCs and Liberals alike," Thomas said. "Ontarians signaled that it is now time to end this failed approach to deficit reduction."

Thomas added: "OPSEU members embrace and support change. They believe in a better future based on solid public serves and humane and balanced government policies. Like most voters, they reject extreme ideological positions from the right, designed to divide people and alienate individuals and families from their neighbours, the community, and the political process."

Thomas added: "Our union is committed to achieving this better future for Ontario. It's up to the Liberal government and PC opposition to recognize this as well."

More information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Tel: 1-613-329-1931

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