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April 30th, 2015

NDP Reality Check: Trudeau Liberals and Harper Conservatives use anti-union sentiments to launch attacks on the NDP

After starting the week claiming to be a friend to the labour movement, the Trudeau Liberals wasted no time in trotting out old-style anti-labour rhetoric to attack the NDP for its staff union.

Liberals, Conservatives and CTV are combining forces to – in bad faith – try and paint the fact unions have office space within the workplace as something suddenly controversial.

While CTV is unionized and is undoubtedly familiar with collective agreements, Liberals have never extended collective bargaining protection to their own Hill staff.

Conservatives are even asking for another Kangaroo court investigation at the secretive BOIE – conveniently ignoring the fact Speaker Andrew Scheer himself, a Conservative MP, allows multiple union offices to operate in House of Commons space.

Which of course is normal – staff unions on the Hill have been granted office space for decades. Providing space for staff union representatives within a unionized workplace is a standard practice and part of respecting collective bargaining rights.

The NDP is the only party on the Hill with unionized staff. In accordance with common practice – including every other employees’ union operating on Parliament Hill – the NDP affords office space to its staff union, UFCW local 232.

“There will always be entrenched interests that want to undermine the importance of labour rights. We are used to these smear jobs,” said NDP Caucus Chair, Irene Mathyssen. “But while Liberals join Conservatives in using anti-union sentiment to attack the NDP, New Democrats are proud our staff are unionized and we will never waver when it comes to defending workers and respecting collective bargaining rights.”