Stéphane Dion Abandons Commitment to Canada's Working Families

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - In a letter to Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, CAW
president Buzz Hargrove expressed his frustration and disappointment at Dion's
recent announcement that he will no longer support federal anti-scab
legislation when Bill C-257 comes up for third reading in Parliament later
this month.
    Dion personally committed his support for the legislation to Hargrove in
a meeting February 7, 2007, on the condition that essential services are
protected in the event of a strike. Bill C-257 will do nothing to diminish the
current protections which are in place for essential services.
    Here is Hargrove's letter to Dion:

    "Dear Stéphane,
    I am writing on behalf of the 265,000 members of the CAW and their
    families to express my frustration and disappointment after hearing your
    announcement that you will not support Bill C-257 - and once again ask
    you and the Liberal caucus to endorse this important legislation when it
    is voted on later this month in Parliament.

    At our meeting on February 7, 2007 you committed your support for C-257,
    as long as essential services would be protected in the event of a

    Essential services are protected by both the Canada Labour Code and other
    statutes that deal specifically with federal public services. Passing C-
    257 does nothing to diminish those protections. Those protections are
    contained in section 87.4 of the Canada Labour Code which are in effect
    and will remain in effect when C-257 is passed.

    In its rulings, the CIRB has confirmed seven times in the last six years
    that section 87.4 is an essential services clause.

    Anyone who has been locked out by their employer or has had to go on
    strike to protect their job knows what scab labour means for their loved
    ones, their community, their union and our country as a whole.

    The research is clear: when scabs are used during strikes and lockouts,
    labour disputes last longer and often get nastier. Bargaining is stalled,
    communities are divided, and tempers flare. Work days are needlessly lost
    and everyone suffers.

    For workers, watching someone steal your job creates anger, bitterness,
    and resentment that damages morale and productivity for years to come.
    For employers, the tiny minority of managers who use scab labour set a
    bad example, and take Canadian labour relations back to the nineteenth

    It's time for federal anti-scab legislation. It's time that the Liberal
    leadership supports the millions of people who make our country work,
    rather than the millionaires who ignore their rights.

    Thank you."

For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications - Jim Paré, (416) 723-2224

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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