"The future will tell if Canada's ratification means anything more than a press release and photo op," added Brown. "We'll need to keep our eye on this ball." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (16 June 2015) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), and unions across Canada, are celebrating the ratification by the Canadian government of the International Labour Organization’s Convention 98, The Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.
Canada as a holdout, had joined countries such as Iran, China and Saudi Arabia, that refused to ratify the Convention.
ILO Convention 98 means the rights of workers to join a union and bargain collectively will be respected
The Convention reinforces the right to collective bargaining and protects all workers from anti-union discrimination, including being forced to give up union membership in order to get a job, or job termination for participating in union activities.
"This ratification follows several years of Supreme Court rulings affirming that Canadian workers have the constitutional rights allowing them to join a union of their own choosing, bargain collectively and take strike action against their employer," said Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
Ratification of Convention 98 means Canada has ratified all 8 Core Convention considered by ILO to be the minimum “enabling rights” people need to defend and improve their rights and conditions at work, and to work in freedom and dignity.
Canada has responsibility to encourage negotiated — not imposed —settlements
"Canada now knows that ratifying this Convention comes with responsibilities," said Brown. "Our government must follow this ratification with a strong signal to employers across Canada, including provincial and territorial governments, to follow the collective bargaining process, and reverse the tendency to impose regressive and restrictive legislation against workers."
"Our union has been a vocal proponent of ratifying Convention 98 for decades, with campaigns directed at the Minister of Labour, as well as at the Prime Minister," said Brown. "We need to recognize that our work, and the work of those across the labour movement, made this moment possible. We need to reflect on our struggle and celebrate this ratification."
"The future will tell if Canada's ratification means anything more than a press release and photo op," added Brown. "We'll need to keep our eye on this ball."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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