Do you feel you have been getting “fat raises” and “lavish benefits” from the McGuinty government?
According to the Toronto Sun, Tim Hudak’s Tories are launching a television commercial attacking public sector unionized workers, urging “taxpayers” to call a toll-free number to register their objections to Dalton McGuinty “giving away more of your money to union bosses.”
The ad suggests unions are “investing in McGuinty” because “they want hundreds of millions in fat raises and lavish benefits.”
Heavy on the “cheese” – the ad looks like a late-night low-budget infomercial – it is intended to counter union messaging on the threats Hudak poses for working people.
The hysteria suggests McGuinty “handed out a 25 per cent increase for one union,” but does not say who, when or over how many years. MPPs did give themselves a 25 per cent pay raise in 2006.
The commercial also misleads the public about current wage settlements. According to statistics Canada, the average wage increase in Ontario was 2.1 per cent (as of April 2011) – well below the province’s spring’s inflation rate of 4.0 per cent. That means most workers are in fact losing ground.
The “fat raises” and “lavish benefits” also fly in the face of the McGuinty wage freeze.
A Globe and Mail review of 2010 executive pay shows CEOs at Canada’s 100 largest companies saw their compensation jump 13 per cent last year, led higher by a 20-per-cent increase in annual cash bonuses.
Hudak is taking a page out of the playbook of his former boss Mike Harris, who whipped up public sentiment against public sector workers. The Harris government ended up repealing anti-scab legislation, froze the minimum wage, made it harder to get worker’s compensation, and challenged the ability of public sector workers to bargain collectively.
Looking at their paycheques, health care workers should be asking Tory candidates if they think their current settlements are “fat” and “lavish,” and whether such attack ads are a preview of what Hudak’s relationship with labour will be?