Saskatchewan government's divisive approach does nothing to resolve problems and comes at the expense of people's basic rights.
Regina (13 Feb. 2014) — People across Saskatchewan are concerned after learning that the Premier appealed to the Federal Government to strip working people at CN of their constitutional rights, says the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL).
Concern over Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's interference in free collective bargaining
The Premier’s appeal is the latest in a series of examples of the current provincial government picking and choosing who should and who should not be allowed to exercise rights prescribed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Furthermore, the Premier’s heightened rhetoric and interference in the collective bargaining process of another jurisdiction only inflamed the situation, making it more difficult for the parties to arrive at a fair collective agreement.
“We are extremely concerned to learn that our Premier personally requested that the federal government rob hardworking rail workers of their constitutional rights,” said SFL President, Larry Hubich. “The Premier greatly overreacted in attempting to influence a situation in another jurisdiction. The rhetoric he chose only inflamed the situation and made the process more adversarial. What he could have done is encourage the parties to come to a fair agreement for both sides.”
Wall wrote to Minister of Labour requesting she strip CN railworkers of their constitutional rights prior to any job action
It was revealed that the Premier personally sent a letter to the Federal Minister of Transport, Lisa Raitt, imploring the Minister to strip working people at CN of their constitutional rights, even before they had acted on their decision to participate in job action. Though Minister Raitt and the Harper Government have shown little regard for constitutional rights in the past - having legislated postal and airport workers, to name a few, back to work – the Premier seems to have advocated a pre-emptive denial of rights. The pre-emptive intervention proved to be completely unnecessary and an unjustified “knee-jerk” reaction.
“This government’s attitude toward basic rights for Canadians continues to cause a great deal of concern for working people. They continue to act on an “us-versus-them” worldview that does nothing to resolve problems and comes at the expense of people’s basic rights.”
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