“Workers have the right to bargain collectively, and this rests upon the right to strike — otherwise, employers would always have the upper hand. It’s not always pain-free, but it’s principled." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Over the past 2 days, our partnership made some very compelling arguments that the act is already infringing the Charter rights of public sector workers. We have done everything possible to put our best foot forward. Now it’s up to the judge to decide.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“This bill advances workers’ rights on one hand while clawing back gains on another.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
This decision is likely to set a precedent for other bargaining units affected by essential services legislation.
Vancouver (06 April 2018) — Tonie Beharrell, of the Health Sciences Association of B.C.'s legal department, presented the union's submission to the government’s Labour Relations Code review panel in March. The submission outlines 14 recommendations regarding reform to the Labour Relations Code.
“We congratulate our OPSEU/NUPGE organizers for this historic organizing victory. We know that one of the best ways to stop the scourge of income inequality, and the growth of unfair low-waged jobs, is to increase and improve the rights and power of precarious workers to organize and bargain collectively.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“Labour speaks with one voice when we call on Tim Hortons and all employers across Ontario to respect the province’s labour laws and the long-overdue increase in the minimum wage. To have owners of such a profitable company punish their loyal workers for an increase in the minimum wage is reprehensible and all citizens should take notice.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Thomas said it was “ironic, but not funny” that the government had passed Bill 148, which improves certain labour standards, “just a few days after it had walked all over the Charter rights of more than 12,000 workers.”
“When working people . . . say what they need, they have the power to get it. Bill 148 is a significant step forward for workers’ rights, and I think every union, community group, and individual who helped make it happen should take a bow.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Back to work legislation would have been unnecessary and students would have been back in class faster if the College Employer Council had taken negotiations seriously.