This show of solidarity will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm at the Peace Arch Park on the Canada-US border.
Vancouver (31 Mar. 2011) - As part of the We Are One campaign rallies taking place across the US, the British Columbia General Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) and the Health Sciences Association of BC (HSABC/NUPGE) are joining forces with workers and supporters in BC, Oregon and Washington to demonstrate against the attacks on collective bargaining rights and public sector workers. This show of solidarity will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm at the Peach Arch Park on the Canada-US border.
“Public sectors workers are being framed for problems they did not create," says Darryl Walker, BCGEU president. "The public sector is not the problem. In British Columbia, we have the leanest public sector in the country, on a per capita basis, which has just gone through a decade of brutal cuts.”
“We need to stop this race to the bottom,’ he continued.
This day of solidarity comes on the heels of the unprecedented actions in Wisconsin by the Republicans to strip public service workers of their collective bargaining rights under the pretense of a budget crisis.
Similarly, in 2002, the BC government, under Liberal leader Gordon Campbell, arbitrarily cancelled the contracts of thousands of health care workers and allowed for mass layoffs outside the collective bargaining process. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the actions were in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“We know what these attacks look like," notes James Clancy, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "And we know how to fight them. Solidarity is key in defeating this kind of agenda.”
Currently the situation in Wisconsin is in limbo. A Dane County District Judge had ruled that the anti-union law would be put on hold for several weeks so a lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general suggesting that legislative rules had been broken to get the law passed could be addressed. Ignoring that ruling, the law was pushed through the legislature. It is now reported that the case may end up being decided by the Supreme Court.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE