Canadians are urged to write a letter to the federal Minister of Labour asking that she support the right to strike at an upcoming meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Ottawa (17 Feb. 2015) — History has shown that workers have fought long and hard to have the right to strike. Even with the recent favourable Supreme Court of Canada rulings allowing the RCMP to unionize and recognizing that the Saskatchewan government's essential services legislation is unconstitutional, there are still those who wish to strip workers of their labour rights.
This fight to maintain workers' rights is taking place not just in Canada. Attacks against unions and unionized workers are occurring all around the world—and even at the International Labour Organization (ILO). There are three groups that make up the Governing Body at the ILO—employers, trade unions and governments. Recently, the Employers Group has been trying to overturn more than 50 years of international legal precedents recognizing the fundamental right to strike. Employers will profit mightily if they succeed, but at the expense of working and middle-class families and communities around the world.
That is why the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has designated February 18 as a global day of action in defence of the right to strike.
NUPGE urging the federal government to respect SCC rulings, and at the ILO meeting support the right to strike
In March, the ILO Governing Body will be meeting to discuss the right of workers to strike. While the Workers Group has already made it known that it will oppose measures to restrict the right to strike, the Government Group has remained silent.
“The Canadian government has made us proud many times for taking leading international stands for basic human decency and dignity,” says James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), “and we’re confident that it will do so again by strongly supporting the right to strike during next month’s ILO meeting.”
Clancy has written to federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch asking for her government to make a clear statement during the ILO meeting next month that Canada's government supports the right to strike. Clancy is urging other Canadians to write similar letters to the federal and to even their provincial governments. Click here for a copy of Clancy's letter or here for a draft of a letter to your provincial or territorial labour minister.
The right to strike is beneficial to all workers
“The Canadian government has made us proud many times for taking leading international stands for basic human decency and dignity, and we’re confident that it will do so again by strongly supporting the right to strike during next month’s ILO meeting," says NUPGE National President James Clancy.
“This is a great day for all of us. Our chief justices understand that unions matter to our country and our communities, and they’ve made sure that Canadian politicians will no longer be able to so easily strip Canadians of their union rights,” says NUPGE National President James Clancy.
Body: This publication provides a summary of cases before the courts that challenge labour laws on the basis that they violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It provides summaries of some 27 Charter challenges and is divided into three sections: challenges heard by the Supreme Court of Canada and decisions are pending; current challenges before the Courts; and, challenges where a final decision has been rendered in the last two years, either by the Supreme Court of Canada, or a lower Court and the decision was not appealed.Series: Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights
Body: This pamphlet provides a summary of a March 2012 International Labour Organization report reviewing the extent of Canada’s compliance to the ILO’s most fundamental Convention – No. 87, Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. The report cites over 20 instances where governments across Canada have refused to change labour laws the ILO has ruled in the past to be not in compliance with Convention No. 87.Series: Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights
Body: This statement was issued by NUPGE's National Executive Board in March 2011 condemning the Governor of Wisconsin for his attack on public services and the law he introduced that stripped 175,000 public employees of their collective bargaining rights. It makes the connection on how the attack on labour rights weakens democracy, destroys good jobs, produces greater income inequality and threatens the economic and social well-being of ordinary citizens.
Body: This primer counters all the myths surrounding 'Right to Work'' laws. Contrary to what the name suggests, 'Right to Work' laws have nothing to do with the right to paid employment. Instead, what they really do is make it easier for corporations to drive down wages for all workers. That’s why those who’ve seen what they do call them “Right to Work for Less” laws.
Body: This is a pamphlet summarizing NUPGE's research paper and counters the corporate myths behind 'right to work' legislation. It concludes the 'right to work laws only create more income inequality, not more jobs.