REGINA – While union groups beat the drum for workers’ rights at Labour Day picnics across the country, labour leaders are again pounding away at Stephen Harper.
“Conservatives are the ones attacking workers, their institutions and their rights,” said Larry Hubich, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president.
As the 2015 federal election nears, the SFL isn’t formally backing a party yet, but the group – which represents over 100,000 workers throughout the province – certainly isn’t hiding its intentions.
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“We think Canadian citizens should vote for parties that will unelect Conservatives, and in Saskatchewan – with the exception of one seat (Regina-Wascana Liberal Ralph Goodale) – that’s the New Democrats,” Hubich said.
Justin Trudeau dismissed that during a campaign stop in Ontario, saying he’s working to sell union voters on the Liberal plan.
“They know we have a real plan for growth, for investing in the middle class and for building a strong future and I look forward to support from labour unions across the country.”
Canada’s largest unions are making a push to have their members vote strategically in key battleground ridings to oust Conservative incumbents.
The effort is being led by Unifor, which may have the numbers to do it: most of Saskatchewan’s 10,000 Unifor members live in Regina and Saskatoon, where at least two seats are up for grabs on October 19.
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“We’re focusing on ridings where we have a critical mass of members … they can make a difference,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s western director.
“We aren’t asking our members to support any particular candidates in Saskatchewan. What we’re saying is, ‘Get out and vote.’”
With files from