Labour rights are Human rights

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Unions matter to Canada because they built and are maintaining our middle class

Grandfather of the latest Why Unions Matter contest winner paid a heavy price for trying to start a union, but each generation since has benefited and prospered.

Ottawa (30 June 2016) — Like millions of other Canadians these days, Kathleen MacKillop has a good, stable job. It's the same story for many of her brothers and sisters, her mom and dad, her son, and a nephew. They all belong to unions, and so they can all enjoy a certain level of safety and security in their work lives.

'Relationship between unions and Indigenous Canadians is mutually beneficial'

Unions Matter contest winner understands that just as unions can help indigenous members, indigenous members can help their unions.
Ottawa (15 June 2016) — In the wake of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, this year's National Aboriginal Day on June 21 has special signficance: it's time, finally, to acknowledge the damages done in the past, but also to celebrate the incredible potential the future holds for all people on this land.
Iman Mahmoud's Why Unions Matter contest submission hones in on the notion that equality and respect is good for all.

Federal legislation ordering postal workers back to work in 2011 unconstitutional

Ontario Superior Court rules that Conservative government's legislating postal workers back to work in 2011 violated their rights to freedom of association and expression.
Ottawa (02 May 2016) — On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the Harper government violated the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members’ freedom of association and expression by legislating them back to work in June 2011.
Legislation ruled unconstitutional

Court rules Ontario’s Bill 115 violated constitutional rights of education workers

"In the last two years, courts across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada, have ruled that collective bargaining rights deserve constitutional protection because they enhance Charter values of democracy, dignity and equality.” — James Clancy, NUPGE National President
Toronto (21 April 2016)  – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and 4 other unions in Ontario’s education sector won a major court victory at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 20.
Bill 115 banned wage increases for 2 years and outlawed strikes and lockouts 

There are no jobs on a dead planet and there's no productivity when a worker's been hurt

Unions Matter winners help celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and mark the Day of Mourning (April 28).
Ottawa (06 Apr. 2016) — Everybody understands that unions speak up for wages and working conditions, but Grade 12 student Emily Genyn knows that unions are also an important voice for the environment. After all, she writes, "There are no jobs on a dead planet."

Mohammad Ali raps for college part-timers in Ontario in new music video

“There is no better cure for precarious work than giving workers a voice. And there’s no better voice for workers than a union.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (25 Feb. 2016) — In his new music video, “Same Job,” Toronto-based artist Mohammad Ali of Socialist Hip Hop raps about the plight of precarious part-time workers in Ontario's 24 community colleges.  “Same job, less hours, less pay, less power,” he rhymes. “Organize for a say, or watch your rights slip away.”


Take Action

Draft a resolution

Draft and sponsor a resolution to your Federation of Labour or Labour Council condemning the use of labour laws that restrict or deny the fundamental rights of workers and proposing that progressive labour law reform be a central focus of labour’s political agenda.

Sign the Workers’ Bill of Rights

Since 2006, thousands, including all Federal Leaders of the Opposition, have signed a pledge to uphold workers rights.

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