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OFL Considers Nominating Fraser Institute for "Union Organizer of the Year" Award for Championing Union Benefits

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/20/13 -- Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan thanked the Fraser Institute - a right-wing think tank - for its release of today's report highlighting the benefits of joining a union.

"It isn't every day that I go on record thanking the Fraser Institute, but this report is the best promotion for joining a union they have ever produced," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Their report is sure to generate interest from unorganized workers across the province who are hoping to improve the livelihoods of their families."

"Of course, the questionable research they use to make their case is as politically manipulative as ever, but that is what people have come to expect from the Fraser Institute," said Ryan. "Let's not be under any illusions about the Fraser Institute - they are a front for North America's corporate elite and Conservative governments across Canada. Their agenda is made apparent by their distinguished Research Fellows - Preston Manning and Mike Harris."

The Fraser Institute's report, "Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation in Ontario," lays out the wage, benefit and pension advantages that public sector workers typically enjoy. The report claims that public sector workers have a 13.9 percent "wage premium" over their private sector counterparts and makes hay of the 76.5 percent of Ontario's public sector workers who have pensions compared to only 26 percent of private sector workers.

We know this report is part of a wider attempt to undermine unions by fuelling a politics of envy that pits workers against each other. But union members are proud of these accomplishments and would like to extend them to all workers. In the public sector where over 70 percent of workers are unionized - in contrast to only 15 percent in the private sector - many workers are earning decent wages with good benefits and pensions.

"Highlighting the union advantage will really help our organizing efforts," says Ryan. "We may even consider nominating the Fraser Institute for a 'Union Organizer of the Year' Award."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour and follow OFL President Sid Ryan at @SidRyan_OFL.

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