OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - It is inappropriate for the Harper
government to bring in sweeping labour law changes through an omnibus
budget implementation bill, making proper consultation and
consideration much more difficult, Unifor told the federal Standing
Committee on Finance at hearings today into Bill C-4.
"It is risky to undertake ad hoc changes for partisan or ideological
reasons. Doing so risks serious and long-lasting damage to
labour-management relations in the federal public service," the union
said in a submission by Unifor Director of Transportation Ron Smith and
Unifor Local 2182 President Chad Stroud.
Their submission recounted the long history of consultation that has led
to past changes to labour law affecting workers governed by the Public
Service Labour Relations Act. Unifor represents such affected workers
as Coast Guard Radio Operations employees, Printing Services Group
Non-Supervisory employees and Transport Canada Air Traffic Control
employees. Unifor also represents House of Commons Technical Group
staff, governed by the Parliamentary Employees Staff Relations Act.
Smith and Stroud raised concerns about provisions in C-4 that will allow
the employer to unilaterally declare work and essential service, rather
than determining that through negotiations with its unions.
"Unifor and other bargaining agents can have no confidence that the
unilateral power that Bill C-4 would grant to the government to
determine what is an essential service will not be abused," the
Smith and Stroud also took issue with changes that Bill C-4 would make
to the arbitration process for affected employees, saying the narrowing
of issues that may be considered by an arbitrator will undermine the
legitimacy of the process, and are not needed.
"Bill C-4 is a solution in search of a problem," the submission says.
Founded on Labour Day weekend with the merging of the Canadian Auto
Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, Unifor
is Canada's largest union in the private sector with more than 300,000
members in every sector of the Canadian economy. Local 2182 represents
Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications Officers.
To read the full submission, go to: http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/finance_committee_bill_c-4_labour_law_brief.pdf
For further information:
Please contact Unifor Director of Transportation Ron Smith, 647-284-4535, Unifor Local 2182 president Chad Stroud, 250-922-4396, or Stuart Laidlaw, Unifor Communications, 647-385-4054.