OFL calls Ford government’s move to appeal Bill 124 decision ‘disgraceful’

TORONTO, Dec. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is outraged by the Ford government’s move to appeal the decision to strike down Bill 124. In an Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision released last month, the bill was found to violate the fundamental constitutional rights to collectively bargain and to strike.

“Bill 124 has severely impacted workers’ living standards and worsened issues like the staffing crisis in our overburdened healthcare system,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “Right now, the Ford government should be focused on taking meaningful action to address the simultaneous cost-of-living and health care crises in this province. Instead, they are choosing to spend public dollars to fight workers in court.”

Bill 124, which caps public sector compensation at one per cent, was introduced by Ford’s Conservative government in 2019. Since the bill’s introduction, the OFL has called it a blatant attack on fundamental trade union rights. The OFL, as part of a coalition of over 70 unions, launched the Charter challenge against Bill 124 to defend workers’ rights.

“Instead of launching this appeal, which is an attempt to continue eroding workers’ rights, the Ford government should focus on rectifying the severe harms that continue to be caused by Bill 124,” added Coates.

A majority of Ontarians disagree with Bill 124, as found in a poll conducted by the Ontario Federation of Labour earlier this month. Thousands of Ontarians sent emails to MPPs, Premier Ford, and Attorney General Doug Downy urging them against appealing the Court’s decision.

“I’ve said it before: Bill 124 hurts workers, it hurts Ontario’s labour relations framework, and it hurts our public services,” said Coates. “This appeal is unacceptable. Ford should give workers the respect they deserve.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:
Melissa Palermo
Communications Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
mpalermo@ofl.ca | 416-894-3456