REGINA, SK, March 13, 2013 /CNW/ - More than 70 Local union leaders from
across the province, members of the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada, will gather in Regina tomorrow to map out
a strategy to expose the dangers of the government's Bill 85, the
Saskatchewan Employment Act.
"We are planning to meet with the premier, and lobby MLA's to alert them
to the harm this potential legislation would cause to workers and the
public," says CEP Western Region Administrative Vice-President Wendy
Bill 85 distills 900 pages of legislation into fewer than 200 pages and
replaces 12 statutes with a single "labour code". CEP is calling on
the government to slow down the process of replacing every significant
statute regulating employment and labour relations in the province.
"It's impossible for unions, employers and even the government itself
to grasp the full implications of this bill," explains Sol. "There is
simply too much that's been changed far too quickly."
"One thing we are sure of, however, is that many of the proposals in
Bill 85 represent a step backwards for workers' rights."
She notes that the new Employment Act would weaken unions by interfering
with bargaining and dues remittance, restricting strikes, forcing small
Locals to run costly audits, allowing for the decertification of a
union at any time and removing successor rights for some of the most
vulnerable workers. It also eliminates the eight-hour workday, meal
breaks and employees' right to refuse overtime in excess of 44 hours
per week, as well as undercutting weekends and public holidays.
"The result of these changes to work time and scheduling regulations
means more workplace injuries and more harm to overall health," says
Sol also points out that protection for workers' severance pay when an
employer decides to relocate their business outside of Saskatchewan
would be non-existent. "This is what happened to our members at
Mercury Graphics," she says, "after the employer locked them out and
relocated the business to the US. Very long term employees were denied
SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
Wendy Sol (204) 781-3386