Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights releases report on Fraser decision

“This report is an important contribution to understanding the Fraser decision’s meaning for labour rights.”

Ottawa (28 October 2011) – The Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights (CFLR) has released a report of the seminar it sponsored earlier this year on the April 2011 Supreme Court of Canada Fraser decision.

The Fraser decision concerns a constitutional challenge against the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), legislation that denies collective bargaining rights to 80,000 agricultural workers in Ontario. The challenge was brought forward by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada which has led a 20 year struggle to achieve labour rights for domestic and migrant farm workers in Ontario. The decision denied UFCW Canada’s challenge, even though the AEPA does not provide any statutory obligation on farm employers to engage in collective bargaining with their workers.

Besides being a major setback in achieving fairness and dignity for Ontario’s vulnerable agricultural workers, the Fraser decision will likely have a major impact on future court challenges aimed at protecting and enhancing the labour rights of Canadian workers.

CFLR sponsored The Labour Movement after Fraser seminar to share analysis and interpretation of the decision, as well as insights on how Fraser may be applied in current and future labour litigation. The seminar report summarizes the presentations of a number of prominent Canadian union leaders, lawyers and labour law academics who spoke at the seminar, including UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley who is also a CFLR Board member.  The report also contains forewords from CFLR Board members James Clancy and Judy Fudge. Clancy is the National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees and Fudge is a member of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

“I believe this report provides valuable and timely material on how we respond to the growing attack on labour and makes the connection between labour rights and human rights”, noted Clancy.

“This report is an important contribution to understanding the Fraser decision’s meaning for labour rights”, added Fudge. “It brings together the perspectives of a group of prominent individuals who share the view that labour rights and independent unions are essential for democratic and just societies. “

A copy of the The Labour Movement after Fraser seminar report can be obtained by e-mailing national@nupge.ca

CFLR

The Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights (CFLR) was established in 2010 by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

CFLR is a national voice devoted to promoting labour rights as an important means to strengthening democracy, equality and economic justice here in Canada and internationally. The key objectives of the Foundation are to create greater public awareness and understanding of labour rights as a key critical component of human rights and build effective political momentum and public support for progressive labour law reform. CFLR

NUPGE

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

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