Staff at hospitals, hydro utilities, universities and other employers funded by the province will be affected.
"The McGuinty wage-freeze bill is an unnecessary attack on workers and collective bargaining,” Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers national director, said in a press release.
“Picking a fight that tramples on workers' rights is unproductive and misguided. It won't fix the economy or erase the deficit.
The Steelworkers represent 8,000 university staff employees at the University of Guelph, Queen's University, and the University of Toronto and its federated colleges, Victoria University and the University of St. Michael's College, and 500 workers in the health-care sector.
"A legislated wage freeze and a vetting process for new contracts shows an absolute disregard for democratic collective bargaining rights in Ontario," Marty Warren, assistant to Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 director, said.
"The McGuinty Liberals wasted millions of public dollars cancelling gas plants in a desperate attempt to win seats in the last election. That shows their disregard for democracy and the rights of the public, and so does this bill.”
"This is a direct attack on our members and our allies," Neumann said. "The labour movement will stand together and fight this bill. If this bill is unconstitutional, and we will challenge it, it's not going to stick and the legal fight will just end up costing the government money. What a waste."