Shhh! Don't utter the word
Shhh! Don't utter the word This article is more than 7 years old

Shhh! Don’t utter the word “strike”

Has the Progressive Conservative government in Alberta outdone the federal Conservatives when it comes to the rights of workers? New labour laws in Alberta don’t just strip the right of members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees to arbitration. Going forward, provincial employees also “won’t even be able to talk about a strike or […]

Has the Progressive Conservative government in Alberta outdone the federal Conservatives when it comes to the rights of workers?

New labour laws in Alberta don’t just strip the right of members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees to arbitration. Going forward, provincial employees also “won’t even be able to talk about a strike or a disruptive labour action that could be seen as leading to a strike.

“If there’s a hint of a work stoppage, just a puff of smoke from a shop floor, the union will have to forfeit $1 million a day, unless it can convince the court it didn’t encourage the strike talk from locals or random militants,” explains Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid.

Braid is talking about what he characterises as an “exceptionally vague ban on ‘an act or threat to act that could reasonably be perceived as preparation for an employees’ right.'”

Don’t be surprised if this provision makes its way to the Supreme Court of Canada, though. “It’s hard to imagine a more blatant violation of free speech,” Baird writes.

Just down from the street from the top court in Ottawa, the Conservatives are poised on Friday to pass a giant omnibus budget implementation bill that also takes a whack at workers’ rights.

The Conservative government stuffed the 322-page bill with amendments to 50 separate laws, most of which have nothing to do with budget implementation.

They include 60 amendments to the Canada Labour Code, including a watered down definition of danger to make it harder for workers to refuse dangerous work, and new rules to appeal the definition.

Twenty-three amendments to the Public Service Labour Relations Act are also in the bill, including deleting the existing definition of “essential” and replace it with one described as anything that the government in its “exclusive right” determines is or will be necessary for the safety or security of the public.

Photo: movetheclouds. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-025 News

Doug Ford’s Government Cut Education By More Than Half a Billion Dollars, New Report Finds

Related Stories

News

Lost Wages, Security and Voice: New Report Documents Workers’ Experiences of Subcontracting in BC’s Long-Term Care Sector

View the post
New

Kamikaze Campaign Manager, Kudatah Leader Go Ahead With Multibillion Dollar Project Endorsed By Jason Kenney

View the post
News

Senior Green Party Officials Condemned Own Leader as ‘Autocratic’ and ‘Dishonest’ in Confidential Internal Letter

View the post

Explainers

Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post