Labour Left Out: collective bargaining as a human right | National Union of Public and General Employees

Labour Left Out: collective bargaining as a human right

Roy J. Adams' new book examines Canada's abject failure to live up to international committments at the UN and ILO


Ottawa (March 15, 2006) – A new book has just been published that provides a valuable contribution to the National Union and UFCW Canada ’s Labour Rights Are Human Rights campaign.

Labour Left Out by Roy Adams, emeritus professor of industrial relations at McMaster University in Hamilton, reports on his research into the failure of Canadian governments to protect and promote the collective bargaining rights of both unionized and non-unionized workers in this country.

”Far from honouring their solemn commitments to the UN’s International Labour Organization, our governments have blatantly and repeatedly violated them”, notes Adams.

“Their many strike-breaking actions and arbitrarily imposed contract settlements have been condemned by the ILO, which has cited Canada as one of the world’s worst violators of basic labour rights.”

In exposing the appalling anti-labour record of our federal and provincial governments, Professor Adams includes his exchange of correspondence with Canada’s labour ministries on their dismal labour-law policies.

Labour Left Out has been published by the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA). It was officially released at a book launch at the National Press Club in Ottawa.

James Clancy, president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), says Adams' book is a valuable contribution to the promotion of labour rights as a human rights issue here in Canada.

Labour Left Out is a solid research study which adds to the growing body of evidence showing how the rights of working Canadians have been eroded in the past two decades," Clancy says.

The 340,000-member National Union and the 230,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada) co-published an important study dealing with the same issues last year. It was entltled Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion?

“This book complements and builds on the National Union/UFCW study," says Clancy.

The NUPGE/UFCW Canada study analyzed 170 pieces of legislation passed by all levels of government in Canada since 1982 to restrict, suspend or deny the collective bargaining rights of workers.

The speakers at the launch of Labour Left Out were from four large unions – the National Union, UFCW Canada, the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF), and the Canadian Professional Police Association (CPPA).

Derek Fudge, NUPGE's director of policy development and author of Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion? spoke on behalf of the National Union at the book launch.

In January of this year the four unions represented at the launch of Adams' new book formally signed a Mutual Aid and Assistance Pact to promote and protect collective bargaining in Canada. The pact states that all four unions agree to focus their cooperative efforts to enhance the ability of their combined organizations to prevent further erosion of these fundamental human rights. NUPGE

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