CP Rail strike ends

Description: A brief strike at Canadian Pacific Railway has ended after federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch vowed to bring in back-to-work legislation.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/16/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-introduces-bill-to-end-cp-rail-strike/article23012104/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: why does this dispute fall within federal jurisdiction?
  • Why is Prof. Hebdon critical of federal intervention?
  • Which side does he say benefits most from the threat of intervention?
  • What is the government’s response?
  • Which side do you agree with? Discuss.

Federal professional employees prepare for strike

Description: Members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada are training for a possible strike, which would be the group’s first in almost 25 years.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Date: 02/13/2015

Link: http://www.canada.com/News/canada/Professionals+picket+line+Federal+union+training+just+case/10812773/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Whom does PIPSC represent?
  • Why is PIPSC preparing for a strike?
  • What changed under Bill C-4?
  • Why do you think the government made this change?
  • Do you think the new rules are fair? Explain.

Saskatchewan could use notwithstanding clause, premier says

Description: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says his government could use the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to pass essential services legislation.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/04/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sasktchewan-could-use-opt-out-clause-in-labour-ruling-premier-wall-says/article22797444/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Review the related links above. Why did the Supreme Court strike down the Saskatchewan law?
  • What is the notwithstanding clause?
  • Why is the notwithstanding clause controversial?
  • How often has it been used?
  • Do you feel it would be appropriate to use it in this case? Discuss.

Supreme Court strikes down essential services law

Description: A Saskatchewan law that imposed a sweeping ban on public sector strikes is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

Source: CBC

Date: 01/30/2015

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/essential-services-law-deemed-unconstitutional-by-supreme-court-1.2937740

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the term “essential services” mean?
  • Why did the court say the Saskatchewan law is unconstitutional?
  • What did the two dissenting justices say?
  • Whom do you agree with? Why?
  • What are the similarities between this decision and the court’s recent decision regarding the RCMP?

Mounties can bargain, Supreme Court says

Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 6-1 that RCMP members have the right to collective bargaining.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/16/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-backs-mounties-right-to-collective-bargaining/article22486356/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Briefly stated, what did the court rule?
  • What are the likely results of this ruling?
  • What did the court say about freedom of association?
  • What happens now?
  • Based on what you know, do you agree with this ruling? Discuss.

Air Canada, Unifor talks begin

Description: Unifor is looking to make up for past concessions as collective bargaining begins with Air Canada.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/04/2015

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/after-banner-fiscal-results-air-canada-set-to-begin-talks-with-unifor/article22284006/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Unifor looking for in the new collective agreement?
  • What happened to Air Canada in 2003?
  • What does the union say it has given up since then?
  • What do you think about the union’s arguments?
  • What arguments do you think Air Canada will make in response to Unifor’s position?

CLC launches Fairness Works campaign

Description: The Canadian labour movement is “rebranding” itself with an ad campaign.

Source: Metro

Date: 12/30/2014

Link: http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/1249288/a-kinder-softer-canadian-labour-movement/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what is the role of the Canadian Labour Congress?
  • Have you seen this ad campaign? What do you think about it?
  • What is your impression of unions?
  • Does this campaign change that opinion? Why or why not?
  • What challenges do unions face in trying to organize what this story describes as “sectors that were previously considered off-limits”?

Ontario can’t afford public sector increases, Wynne says

Description: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province doesn’t have the money for public sector wage and benefit increases.

Source: The Ottawa Sun

Date: 12/27/2014

Link: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/12/27/wynne-to-unions-no-money-for-wage-hikes

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has taken a strike vote. Consult your text: What is the significance of this move?
  • Does a strike vote mean a union is likely to take job action? Discuss.
  • Follow the Related Links above. What is the OPSEU’s response to Wynne’s statement?
  • Whom do you think the public would support on this issue?
  • If you were the leader of the OPSEU or the Teachers’ Federation, what would be your strategy dealing with the government?

Senate passes flawed labour relations bill

Description: The Senate has passed a bill related to public-sector union certification, even though the bill contains mistakes.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 12/16/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/senators-to-vote-on-conservatives-union-bill-despite-error-in-legislation/article22102064/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What would Bill C-525 do?
  • What do unions say about Bill C-525?
  • What do its supporters say?
  • What are the mistakes in the bill?
  • Why weren’t the errors corrected before the bill was passed into law?

Quebec municipal workers hold one-day strike

Description: Municipal workers in Quebec walked off the job for one day to protest provincial government plans to restructure their pensions.

Source: CBC

Date: 11/26/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-municipal-workers-in-1-day-strike-to-protest-pension-reform-plan-1.2850168

Related links:

Questions for discussion

  • What is the Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation?
  • What is Bill 3? How would it change Quebec public workers’ pensions?
  • Listen to the audio clip on the CBC site titled “are municipal workers ‘not in touch with reality.’ ” Why does the government think the workers are out of touch?
  • What is the union response?
  • What do you think? How important is public opinion in a dispute like this?

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