Conservative Senator Hugh Segal on why unions are important

On December 7, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal addressed Unifor’s Ontario Regional Council. He began: “My Canada is the kind of country where trade unions and free collective bargaining makes our economy stronger and Canada a better place. It is as important a part of a strong and growing economy as capital investment, reasonable profits, and fair wages. And without collective bargaining there is never any guarantee on fair wages. And without fair wages we are not building a society of which we can be proud, and we can transfer to our kids and grandchildren knowing we have transferred them something that reflects our values as Canadians. In other words the right of working men and women to unionize was at the root of Tory policy less than five years after Confederation…  it is part of who we are as Canadians from the very beginning.”

On the anti-union Bill 377, Segal continued: “It was bad law, it was unconstitutional,” Segal said, adding that he will continue to oppose the bill if the Harper government attempts to revive it. “As I stand before you today, I will stand in the Senate and oppose it again.”

In a media release, Unifor National President Jerry Dias said the union appreciates the support that Segal has shown for organized labour, despite his Conservative Party’s anti-union policies: “Senator Segal understands the vital role unions play in our society,” he said. “He has shown that he is a man of principle, and that’s what Canada needs today.”

Watch Segal’s address here: