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.

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”?

Postal unions challenge home mail delivery decision

Description: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is going to court to challenge Canada Post’s plans to phase out home mail delivery in urban centres.

Source: CBC

Date: 10/16/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-post-court-challenge-launched-to-save-home-mail-delivery-1.2800697

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the union want the courts to do?
  • What does the union intend to argue before the court?
  • What do you think of the union’s arguments?
  • Why does Canada Post say it is necessary to phase out home delivery?
  • What do you think about phasing out home mail delivery?

Tories seek debate limits as Bill C-377 returns to Senate

Description: Conservative senators are attempting to limit debate on private member’s bills as a controversial bill affecting unions goes back to the upper house.

Source: National Post

Date: 09/21/2014

Link: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/21/tories-move-to-limit-debate-in-senate-as-controversial-union-bill-heads-back-to-upper-chamber/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What would Bill C-377 do?
  • Summarize the arguments in favour of Bill C-377.
  • Summarize the arguments against Bill C-377.
  • Do you think the bill is necessary?
  • What happened to the bill the first time it went before the Senate?

Unions and the changing economy

Description: For many Canadians, Labour Day may not have the same significance it once did.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 09/01/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/evolving-work-force-presents-new-challenges-to-unions/article20290383/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the article describe as the aims of the labour movement in its early days?
  • What recent changes to the economy have proved challenging to unions?
  • How have unions responded?
  • Have you ever belonged to a union?
  • What are your feelings about unions? Are they necessary?

Tory leader backs away from ‘right-to-work’

Description: Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak is no longer calling for “right-to-work” laws.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 02/21/2014

Link: http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/02/21/tim_hudak_renounces_antiunion_righttowork_plan.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is “right to work”?
  • Consult your text: what is the Rand Formula?
  • Do you think the Rand Formula is fair?
  • Why or why not?
  • Why do you think Hudak backed away from his “right to work” plans?

Considering the union wage premium

Description: Unionized Canadians make more than their non-union counterparts, but the concept of the union “wage premium” is a complex one.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/05/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/it-still-pays-to-be-in-a-union-but-for-how-long/article16697608/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the union “wage premium”?
  • Why does the author say this premium “tends to be overestimated”?
  • What are some of the forces that threaten this premium?
  • Do you agree with the statement that “belonging to a union may seem like an antiquated notion to many in today’s work environment”?
  • Why or why not?

 

Unifor leader says it’s time to ‘stop playing defence’

Description: Jerry Dias, the new leader of Unifor, says it is time for unions to go on the offensive. He promises to spend 10 per cent of the newly merged union’s revenues on organizing and increasing membership.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 08/31/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/newly-elected-unifor-leader-says-he-is-taking-labour-movement-on-the-offensive/article14063604/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What did Dias say about young people and those who traditionally have not belonged to unions?
  • Do you agree that “young people today are crying for a union”?
  • Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Have you ever belonged to a union?
  • If so, describe briefly the pros and cons of the experience.

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