Organized Labour is gearing up for a fight with the federal Conservative government, and the provincial Tories.

Unions worry the governments are considering right-to-work legislation and changes to the Rand Formula.

Members of CAW Local 444, which represents Chrysler and Caesar's employees, voted unanimously to fight right-to-work legislation and any changes.

The Rand Formula was born out of the Ford strike in Windsor back 1945.

After 99 days, the strike ended with an arbitrated settlement by Supreme Court Justice Ivan Rand.

His ruling set out that workers would not be forced to join a union, but anyone covered by a collective agreement must pay union dues.

The CAW is worried some politicians want that changed.

Dino Chiodo, the president CAW Local 444, said his members are ready to take whatever action is necessary to protect what they won years ago.

"We're seeing Tim Hudak, with his white paper, come forward attacking unions, so this is an individual we see as dangerous," Chiodo said.

Hudak's paper, Paths to Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets, suggests ways to modernize the labour laws.

Chiodo called what could become a labour showdown the biggest fight unionized workers have ever faced.

A campaign is underway within different labour groups to educate their members about what's taking place and to mount a fight, just in case.

"We're going to be ready to participate and deal with it the way we need to deal with it because we're not going backwards," Chiodo said.


  • A previous version of this story said CAW Local 444 said that both federal and Ontario governments are seeking changes to labour laws. In fact, CAW Local 444 said both federal and Ontario Conservatives are seeking changes to labour laws.
    Apr 23, 2002 9:49 PM ET