Right-to-work battle brewing (Editor's notes)

What happens in Canada could hinge on outcome of next Ontario election
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/16/2013

The right-to-work movement that started south of the border is trying to march north. Whether it successfully clears customs and establishes a foothold could hinge, in large part, on the outcome of the next Ontario election.

Right-to-work laws strip the unions’ ability to force employees to join and pay dues as a condition of employment — in Canada, it would mean an end to the Rand formula. The formula states “all workers who are benefitting from the contract negotiated by the union are paying their dues,” according to the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Ontario currently has a minority Liberal government and the Liberals have held power since 2003. Voters can be a fickle bunch and tend to like to see change after a decade or so. Combine Liberal fatigue with a scandal over the cancellation of power plants expected to cost Ontario taxpayers $1 billion and it’s a pretty good recipe for government turnover.