Saskatchewan urged to end northern overtime exemption

MLA Ron Harper presents report to government

Regina (22 Feb. 2007) - A report prepared for the Saskatchewan government recommends ending the Northern Overtime Exemption, a law that has allowed employers to discriminate geographically against certain workers for more than 50 years.

Adopted in 1953, the law excludes workers in specified areas from the protection extended in hours and overtime clauses of the Labour Standards Act to other workers in the province.

The new report, prepared by Ron Harper, MLA for Regina Northeast, follows public hearings held last August and September. It was presented to the government on Feb. 21.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour says removal of the exemption is long overdue.

"This is an old, antiquated, and quite frankly discriminatory, piece of legislation," says Larry Hubich, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour. "It's time employers in the north moved into the 21st century. The exemption needs to be removed."

Anti-labour groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business are, predictably, opposed. NUPGE

More information:• Hearings open into law discriminating against northern workers