THE WORST LABOUR LEGISLATION IN THE COUNTRY
As most of you know, Brad Wall and his crew of inexperienced college frat buddies have recently introduced legislation that put Unions squarely in the cross hairs.
Make no mistake, this time they are coming for us. Your rights are under serious attack.
There are two pieces of legislation recently introduced [so far, we anticipate more] that threaten to turn Saskatchewan's labour climate into a one-sided Employer's holiday.
These are Bill 5 which concerns itself with essential services, and Bill 6 which amends the Trade Union Act. Both have received first reading and will soon be law.
Bill 5 is a particularly nasty piece of legislation that allows Employers to designate classifications that will be identified as so called 'essential services'.
Those persons designated as 'essential' will be identified BY NAME [emphasis mine] as employees 'who must work during the labour stoppage to maintain essential services'. Those named 'must work during the work stoppage ....without regard to the availability of other persons to provide essential services'.
It is not clear whether or not those named individuals would be able to refuse overtime or whether they could be called back from, or denied holidays.
DO NOT THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE SO CALLED 'ESSENTIAL SERVICES' DESIGNATED AT SGI If this legislation is passed, it is almost a certainty that there will be individuals named as 'essential' in our workplaces. Those individuals completely lose their right to strike, and of course forcing them to work undermines everyone else who is undertaking a work stoppage.
But wait there's more.
The Government has given itself extensive powers to make regulations to this Bill without ever having to debate these changes in the Legislature. This represents an unprecedented lack of accountability.
Bill 6 poses as an amendment to the Trade Union Act. This Bill gives an unparalleled ability for the employer to give 'its opinion' on matters, in a manner that would previously have been illegal.
The specific wording is 'nothing in this Act precludes an employer from communicating facts AND ITS OPINIONS to its employees' [emphasis mine].
This means that an employer may comment on any grievance, workplace incident, strike vote including Collective Bargaining, as it sees fit. It is estimated that this Bill will make legal more than 90% of employer conduct which is currently illegal in almost every part of Canada and even much of the U.S.
There are other changes buried in this Bill as well, including the removal of the three year limitation for collective agreements. This potentially sets the stage for demands by employers for much longer agreements. Can the day of the ten year collective agreement be finally here? Wouldn't we all love 10 years of zero, zero, zero, zero, zero……… ?
There is no question, and no doubt that this is indeed the worst labour legislation in the entire country.
These two Bills are, in my opinion, a declaration of war on the middle class. They will undermine the effectiveness of the unions that one third of Saskatchewan working people belong to.
We encourage you to see this attack on your rights for yourself.
We have copies of these two Bills in our office as well, which we will be pleased to give you on request. Please contact Patti Harris at (306) 352-4238 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have seen the evidence, you may wish to write your MLA and tell them what you think of our province having the distinction of having the absolute worst labour legislation in the entire country.