This is an open call for delegates to our Unifor Ontario Council to take a firm stand for workers’ rights and for our union principles. Over the course of this Council meeting our political direction will be debated, and our strategy for the coming provincial election will be laid out. You will hear passionate pleas about how we must stop Patrick Brown and his disgusting anti-worker party from dragging our great movement backwards, and this is absolutely true.

NDP members and activists are leading the campaign for Pharmacare. Oshawa public forum November 29.

We also must not lose sight of the fact that the provincial Liberals are just as ruthlessly anti-union as the Conservatives, and that we have only made gains under their majority government through massive grassroots and labour organizing. In Ontario, we have two anti-union parties; one is blue and the other is red. From the selloff of our cherished public assets like Hydro One, to the violation of our Constitution in legislating our sisters and brothers in OPSEU back to work a mere week ago, it’s abundantly clear that the Ontario Liberals are no friend of Labour, and will never be aligned with the principles and goals of Unifor.

It is for these reasons and many more that we flatly reject the failed strategy of “Anyone But Conservative” strategic voting, and urge you to do the same. We have many dedicated union activists from our ranks who are running for the NDP- union activists who have never betrayed our principles, and have fought tooth and nail for our rights for decades. Some of them have succeeded in winning seats, but others have been stripped of their chance to fight for us in the halls of power by the short-sighted practice of strategic voting.

Endorsing anti-worker Liberals is an absolute affront to everything we stand for as a union, and we must put an end to this in the 2018 provincial election by putting our full support behind the only mainstream party who has ever given a damn about our rights, and that’s the NDP.  We must resist the politics of fear currently being used to lead us astray, and stand up for what we believe in – a workers’ agenda that represents us and not the Bay Street bankers of the Liberal Party. Strategic voting is a failed strategy that puts cronies and crooks in power; let’s learn from our mistakes and stick to fighting for what Unifor believes in.

Lisa Gretzky, NDP MPP for Windsor West, speaks to media outside the Medical Laboratories during Unifor Strike.

A bit more – it is important to consider that at our Political Action Conference this year, organizer Pam Frache  from the Workers Action Centre, Ontario discussed the “Fight for 15 & Fairness” campaign, and how it has brought monumental change to Ontario communities. The Conference also touched on the important work our members did in British Columbia to elect John Horgan. Brother Gavin McGarrigle & Sister Patty Barrera talked about building capacity and leadership, and the combined power of strong inside and outside strategies. This is exactly what is required to defeat the Conservatives in Ontario.

We can make more progress by backing the party that is closest to our principles, that backs our issues. We should support a campaign to put more workers into Ontario’s Legislative assembly. Strategic voting confuses our members and voters, and misleads them about the true class interests of the Liberals.

We can’t trust Kathleen Wynne and Ontario’s Liberals after their record over the last four years.

Local 222 members for working class politics.