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Conservative government 'disrespected organized labour,' Trudeau says on Windsor, Ont., stop

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Unifor Local 200 and Local 444 members in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, March 14, 2024.  (Nicole Osborne/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Unifor Local 200 and Local 444 members in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Nicole Osborne/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a campaign-style pitch to Unifor members in Windsor, Ont., on Thursday, touting his government's record on supporting unionized workers and claiming the Conservatives don't have their backs.

"You can't have a plan for the future of the economy if you don't have a plan to stand up for workers' rights," he said.

The speech took place at the union hall for Unifor Locals 444 and 200, whose members include employees of Caesars Windsor, Stellantis and Ford.

The prime minister did not make any announcements during his appearance at the union hall. He was also expected to meet with seniors while in the region, according to his itinerary.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Unifor Local 200 and Local 444 members in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, March 14, 2024.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Unifor Local 200 and Local 444 members in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Unifor Local 200 and Local 444 members in Windsor, Ont., Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Nicole Osborne/The Canadian Press)

His appearance comes on the heels of Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre's visit to Windsor late last month.

CBC News reached out to Essex Conservative MP Chris Lewis to respond questions on the prime minister's visit but he could not accommodate an interview by deadline.

Trudeau described himself as an "aggressive pitch man" for job-creating foreign investment.

He gave a wide-ranging speech that highlighted the NextStar electric vehicle battery plant deal, the U.S. changing its tune to include Canadian-made vehicles like the Windsor-made Chrysler Pacifica for EV subsidies and upcoming anti-replacement worker legislation.

That legislation recently received unanimous support in a House of Commons vote, but Trudeau expressed skepticism over Conservatives' continued support for the bill, which is in the committee stage.

"They were the government that constantly...brought in back-to-work legislation. They were the ones that constantly dismissed and disrespected organized labour for eight years under Stephen Harper," he said.

He also accused the party of "disinterest" in the EV battery plant deal, which was criticized for offering $15 billion in tax breaks to Chrysler parent company Stellantis.

"They don't believe in corporate welfare, they call it. Well, I call it investing in our future," he said.