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Alberta Politics: Sorry Wildrose, but recall legislation has no place in a representative democracy

PHOTOS: A man with a pitchfork at a protest by a group of farmers and their supporters in front of the Alberta Legislature this week. We’re going to chalk this up to over-enthusiasm, but if someone had brought a pitchfork to a labour rally, you can c… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Sorry Wildrose, but recall legislation has no place in a representative democracy

Alberta Politics: Never mind the ‘Fuddites,’ Alberta needs Bill 6, although Bill 6 needs fixes

PHOTOS: NDP Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson chats with anti-Bill-6 protesters in front of the Legislature on Friday. Below: The crowd of protesters at its zenith and members of the Legislative Press Gallery interviewing a turkey, not for the first time,… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Never mind the ‘Fuddites,’ Alberta needs Bill 6, although Bill 6 needs fixes

Parchment in the Fire: Some Charts on the Conditions of Labour in Greece

A few charts from the Eurofound website provides an insightful glimpse into the conditions of workers in Greece in the context of austerity. The first chart, taken from Eurofound, demonstrates the trajectory of labour costs and labour productivity in Greece up to and during the crisis. The data indicates a significant divergence of labour costs . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Some Charts on the Conditions of Labour in Greece

Parchment in the Fire: The Eurozone Crisis, Collective Bargaining, Labour Market Reform and Austerity, 2010-2015

By the summer of 2010, the financial crisis initiated by overleveraged financial institutions had been transformed into a sovereign debt crisis. This was a deliberate tactic of ‘crisis management’ by neo-liberally minded European elites to protect their financial sectors. State intervention to the tune of billions of pounds and Euros recapitalized the banking sectors . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: The Eurozone Crisis, Collective Bargaining, Labour Market Reform and Austerity, 2010-2015

Alberta Politics: Labour Day 2015: Analyzing Europe’s refugee crisis through the lens of labour rights

PHOTOS: The Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Below: International studies scholar Vijay Prashad; former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal. On Labour Day 2015, the world’s attention is focused on the great migration of desperate human beings streaming into Europe from the economic and military catastrophes of North Africa and the Middle East. The proximate . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Labour Day 2015: Analyzing Europe’s refugee crisis through the lens of labour rights

Larry Hubich's Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

“Saskatchewan’s Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president, Larry Hubich, as the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) sided with working families on January 30, 2015.
The SCC ruled, in no uncertain terms, that the SFL was right – the Saskatchewan Party government’s Public Services Essential Services Act (Bill 5) was heavy-handed, unworkable, and violated a Charter-protected right to strike.
“The decision by the Supreme Court to grant every worker in Canada a constitutional right to strike is a profound victory for our movement,” said Hubich, “the Court also delivered a strong message to conservative governments everywhere: your rigid ideology does not trump workers’ rights,” he added.
The Public Services Essential Services Act (Bill 5) was introduced by the newly-elected Saskatchewan Party government in 2007. As soon as it was introduced, workers, their unions, lawyers, and academics all said the Bill was overreaching, unnecessary, and probably illegal. The Saskatchewan Party, though, continued to only listen to their corporate friends instead of Saskatchewan families. As a result, a long Charter Challenge was launched by the SFL and its affiliates against Bill 5 to protect working families.
Despite the long and expensive court process, workers and their unions were gracious in their victory – extending an invitation to the Saskatchewan Party government to work together.
“We know that a work stoppage is always the last resort, and unions always prefer a negotiated agreement that is good for both sides,” said Hubich, “our victory does not change any of that, and we want to work with the provincial government to develop labour laws that are fair, balanced, and respect the rights of workers,” he added.
However, just a few days after the SCC ruling, Brad Wall floated the option of using the notwithstanding clause so that he and his government could continue violating Charter rights.
“This is a time for reconciliation and leadership, not a time for the premier to stomp his feet and threaten to deny Saskatchewan families their Charter rights,” said Hubich, “workers and their unions continue to offer our cooperation to create good public policy, and we hope the premier will come to the table in good faith,” he added.

. . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

Larry Hubich's Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

“Saskatchewan’s Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president, Larry Hubich, as the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) sided with working families on January 30, 2015. The SCC ruled, in no uncertain terms, that the SFL was right – the Saskatchewan Party government’s . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Right to Strike puts conservatives on notice

Parchment in the Fire: Collective Bargaining and the Eurozone Crisis

Since the beginning of the Eurozone crisis in 2008, most attention has been focused on the recurring and persistent struggles against ‘austerity’. Austerity, in this sense, refers to the politics of cutting public spending – primarily in the areas of social programs like unemployment benefits, disability benefits, ‘public goods’ such as legal aid programs, . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Collective Bargaining and the Eurozone Crisis

Alberta Diary: The ‘research’ the Fraser Institute produces is junk – have a happy Labour Day!

An unidentified Fraser Institute “fellow” explains to a couple of young Manning Centre interns how giving workers the right to bargain collectively stunts job growth, and also how dinosaurs and men walked the earth at the same time. Actual Fraser Institute employees may not appear or act exactly as illustrated. Below: Economist Andrew . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The ‘research’ the Fraser Institute produces is junk – have a happy Labour Day!

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Detente or Entente Cordiale? AUPE and Hancock Government reach tentative agreement

TweetAt 10:00 a.m. on April 28, 2014, Hugh McPhail, a lawyer representing the Alberta Government requested the Court of Appeal to adjourn a scheduled hearing on Bill 46, the controversial anti-labour law that had been halted by a court injection months ago. The law would have forced a regressive contract on the 22,000 government employees . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Detente or Entente Cordiale? AUPE and Hancock Government reach tentative agreement

Larry Hubich's Blog: Bill 5 & 6 Charter Challenge Heads to the Supreme Court of Canada

A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the SFL et al case against the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act. On May 16th in Ottawa, the Federation, along with the plaintiff . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Bill 5 & 6 Charter Challenge Heads to the Supreme Court of Canada

Larry Hubich's Blog: Bill 5 & 6 Charter Challenge Heads to the Supreme Court of Canada

A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the SFL et al case against the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act. On May 16th in Ottawa, the Federation, along with the plaintiff group and intervenors, will present the case for the highest court in the land.

Though no organization ever wants to be in the position of taking its own government to court, Bills 5 and 6 represent significant infringements upon the fundamental rights of Saskatchewan working people. On behalf of the people of the province, and on behalf of the generations of people that struggled for the rights we enjoy today, it is our responsibility to challenge laws that appear to be unconstitutional, particularly when they concern people’s basic rights at work.

In 2010, the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that Bills 5 and 6 violate Canada’s international law commitments.

In April 2013, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released a much-anticipated decision recognizing that Canadian law has evolved to a point where a right to strike may be protected by the Constitution. At numerous points, the Court of Appeal notes that, though it could not overturn previous Supreme Court decisions respecting a right to strike, striking could very well be a fundamental right protected by the freedom of association.

Before the Supreme Court of Canada, the SFL et al will be making the case that Saskatchewan people, and all Canadians, enjoy a right to strike that is constitutionally protected. We are also asking for a declaration that the 2008 changes to the Saskatchewan Trade Union Act substantially interfere with workers’ right to form unions of their own choosing, for the purpose of bargaining collectively with their employers.

In only a matter of weeks, working people in the province and across the nation will finally have an answer to questions raised in the Fall of 2007. . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Bill 5 & 6 Charter Challenge Heads to the Supreme Court of Canada

Alberta Diary: Valentine’s Day injunction all but massacres Redford Government’s credibility in fight with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith at the union’s news conference in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

Mr. Justice Denny Thomas of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench did not merely accept the arguments of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees when he slapped an injunction on the . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Valentine’s Day injunction all but massacres Redford Government’s credibility in fight with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

The Canadian Progressive: Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4

Federal public sector unions are joining forces to legally challenge the Harper Conservatives’ latest assault on Canadian workers’ rights through Bill C-4.

The post Public sector unions legally challenge Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-4 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Parchment in the Fire: Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe – NYTimes.com

Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe – NYTimes.com.

While most of the debate over Europe’s response to the financial crisis has focused on the budget austerity enveloping the Continent, the comparatively unheralded erosion of worker protection is likely to have at least as big and lasting an impact on Europe’s social contract.

Filed . . . → Read More: Parchment in the Fire: Americanized Labor Policy Is Spreading in Europe – NYTimes.com

Larry Hubich's Blog: Senator Hugh Segal speaks at Unifor Ontario Council

Larry Hubich's Blog: Senator Hugh Segal speaks at Unifor Ontario Council

Alberta Diary: Redford Government set to impose wage freeze on public employees, blowing winning coalition to smithereens

The state of public service labour relations in Alberta, circa some time this afternoon. Premier Alison Redford, in black, is visible standing at right. Below: Alberta civil servants’ likely response to the government’s plan. Actual events in the near future may not appear exactly as illustrated, especially the part with all the gob . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford Government set to impose wage freeze on public employees, blowing winning coalition to smithereens

Larry Hubich's Blog: Fairness Works!

Larry Hubich's Blog: Fairness Works!

Larry Hubich's Blog: Supreme Court of Canada Agrees to Hear Charter Challenge of BIlls 5 & 6

A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will, in fact, hear the case of the SFL et al, in the matter of the constitutionality of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act.

“It . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Supreme Court of Canada Agrees to Hear Charter Challenge of BIlls 5 & 6

Larry Hubich's Blog: Supreme Court of Canada Agrees to Hear Charter Challenge of Bills 5 & 6

A panel of three Supreme Court Justices has decided that the Supreme Court of Canada will, in fact, hear the case of the SFL et al, in the matter of the constitutionality of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6 – so-called “essential services” legislation and amendments to Saskatchewan’s Trade Union Act.


“It is extremely unfortunate that we find ourselves in this position,” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour President, Larry Hubich. “Obviously, we would rather not be forced into taking our government to court. Unfortunately, however, Bills 5 and 6 represent significant infringements upon the fundamental rights of Saskatchewan working people. On behalf of the people of the province, and on behalf of the generations of people that struggled for the rights we enjoy today, we believe it is our responsibility to challenge laws that appear to be unconstitutional, particularly when they concern people’s basic rights at work.”

In 2010, the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that Bills 5 and 6 violate Canada’s international law commitments, as well as working people’s rights. In April of this year, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released a much-anticipated decision recognizing that Canadian law has evolved to a point where a right to strike may be protected by the Constitution. At numerous points, the Court of Appeal notes that, though it could not overturn previous Supreme Court decisions respecting a right to strike, striking could very well be a fundamental right protected by the freedom of association.

“We believe it is time for the Supreme Court of Canada to recognize that Saskatchewan people, and all Canadians, enjoy a right to strike that is constitutionally protected. We are also asking for a declaration that the 2008 changes to the Saskatchewan Trade Union Act substantially interfere with workers’ right to form unions of their own choosing, for the purpose of bargaining collectively with their employers.”

PDF available here . . . → Read More: Larry Hubich’s Blog: Supreme Court of Canada Agrees to Hear Charter Challenge of Bills 5 & 6

Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

“Post-secondary collective bargaining,” Alberta style. Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk and a post-secondary employer negotiator rig the deck, foreground, while a faculty association negotiators ponder what’s just happened. Actual Alberta bargaining teams may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lukaszuk, former advanced ed minister Steve Khan.

As is well known, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

Larry Hubich's Blog: Bill 85 – What’s the Rush?

Larry Hubich's Blog: Bill 85 – What’s the Rush?