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.

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?

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?

Federal government knew TFW rules being broken, AFL says

Description: The Alberta Federation of Labour says documents show the federal government knew temporary foreign workers were being underpaid in 2013.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/15/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/temporary-foreign-worker-program-misuse-sanctioned-by-harper-government-union-says-1.2737422

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what is a labour federation?
  • Who does the AFL represent?
  • Summarize the AFL’s complaint.
  • What changes did the federal government make to the TFW program this year?
  • Do you agree with the AFL that the TFW program should be eliminated? Why or why not?

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?

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