Rights of Union Workers Should Not be Unilaterally Altered

Audio, Canada, Commentary, Frontier Centre, Public Sector

For too long, Canadians have watched as governments have entered into bad and costly labour agreements with public sector employees.

Now that the politicians can no longer afford these expensive contracts, the rights of public sector workers are being altered without appropriate justification.

The Government of Alberta recently introduced Bills 45 and 46, which would limit the right to strike in the public sector and allow the government to impose contracts unilaterally. 

In Ontario last year, the government passed the ‘Putting Students First Act’.

It imposed contracts on teachers and others in education, despite massive opposition.

Ottawa is proposing drastic changes to the rights of federal workers in Bill C-4. 

Under this legislation, the government will be able to unilaterally expand the definition of the essential service and restrict rights to bargain collectively.

Nobody likes to be inconvenienced by strikes or protests, but these are fundamental rights provided to workers under the Charter and various labour relations acts. 

It has become easy to blame unions for labour unrest, but governments are sometimes equally to blame. They have given in too often to union pressure.

The process of making changes to the rights of workers must be as fair and transparent as possible.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

For more on the public sector, visit our website www.fcpp.org.