Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hudak's 'Truth' Exposed For The Lie It Is

In response to an opinion piece written by Stephen Skyvington espousing the Tim Hudak canard that mandatory union membership is one of the reasons Ontario is faring so badly economically, Hamilton Spectator readers weigh in with insights of their own:

Hudak is no friend of the workers

Spectator readers fooled by Stephen Skyvington's opinion piece should ask themselves: Who would benefit from the disappearance of the Rand formula?

Skyvington's argument for PC Leader Tim Hudak's anti-labour agenda leads to one conclusion: already-wealthy corporations and corporate bosses will reap the rewards if the last voice of working people is silenced. Workers? Not so much. Hudak has promised to gut the pensions of registered nurses and other workers and freeze their wages.

Skyvington's column is an example of the attempts to rid the country of unions and the work they do on behalf of every working person. The measures he and Hudak endorse are meant to eliminate the ability of unions to represent ordinary workers. Only corporate bosses benefit; they would be free to pay lower wages, fewer or no benefits and reap greater profits from the efforts of their workers.

Federal and provincial corporate tax cuts over the past 15 years have handed tens of billions of dollars to corporations." The billions in tax savings came with no strings — the corporations didn't feel morally obligated to expand their businesses, create more jobs or share the wealth through investments in Canada.

Skyvington misleads readers when he talks of "mandatory" union membership. Union membership is not mandatory; those who go to work in a union environment have the option of signing a membership card.

Skyvington's portrayal of Tim Hudak as "going to bat" for workers would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous. Neither are friends of working Ontarians. We shouldn't believe them when they say they are.

Deanna King, Ancaster

Mandatory taxes, mandatory union dues

The union movement benefits society at large, not just those who pay union dues to a particular local. Attacking them is not new and will never go away.

What's the difference between obligating a union member to pay dues and obligating a citizen to pay taxes? Does writer Stephen Skyvington also suggest I should have the right to renounce my taxes and the benefits they pay for? Why not? I have minimal interest in subsidizing corporate welfare if those businesses have minimal interest in my welfare.

How about a compromise? The taxpayer will continue to subsidize corporate welfare in exchange for living wage legislature? Please Big Business, may we have enough wealth to purchase your products and keep the entire economy running?

Here is a headline from the Globe and Mail in 1901: "Unions have out lived their usefulness." There is nothing new in what Skyvington espouses. It's just another round of attacks. Let's stand up together against the biggest bosses, the corporate ones. Don't forget to vote!

Ben Lyons, Hamilton

Hudak works for the Robber Barons

Stephen Skyvington would have us believe that the solution to the structural economic problems arising from neo-liberal policies of globalization, free trade, deregulation, migrant workforces, and reduced incomes is more of the same.

The solution for Skyvington and Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak could be labelled the Caterpillar Doctrine, whereby workers are offered half their wages without any benefits or their employer gives everyone the finger and leaves town.

In the wake of Caterpillar's closing in London, Ont., throwing 460 manufacturing workers onto the street, Hudak didn't "go to bat for workers." He backed the foreign-owned company that recorded $65.8 billion in sales and revenues and registered record profits.

Caterpillar didn't throw Ontario workers out of jobs because it was hurting but because it wasn't earning enough for the CEO, who raked in $10.4 million in salary for a single year. That is for whom Hudak and Skyvington are going to bat: Robber Barons. Hudak is a premier for 1914 not 2014.

Voters who work for a living ought to recognize Hudak as a class warrior for the one per cent and reject his divisive, ruinous agenda.

Sean Hurley, Hamilton

It is always encouraging to see Canadians exercising their critical faculties instead of passively accepting propaganda that advances the cause of a small, select, and grossly dishonest segment of the population known as the political class.


  1. "Hudak works for the robber barons." Exactly.

    1. I read your blog entry this morning, Owen. Amazing, isn't it, how both Hudak and Harper peddle lies and propaganda to try to win the voters.

  2. The worm is turning ( where do I get these phrases) Lorne The evidence that we have been sold a bill of goods is overwhelming.

    We aren't quite there yet but with each passing day we draw closer to the day where a critical mass in opposition to neoliberalism will emerge.

  3. As I read this character's op-ed I was reminded of that shill of climate change denialism, Tom Harris. These guys learned their trade straight from the R.J. Reynolds manual.

    I think Kev's right.

    1. There is a certain predictability in their approach, isn't there, Mound? His cant ('some of my best friends are unions and their leaders') is reminiscent of the bigot who says, "Some of my best friends are black, or Jewish, or Arab, etc."