FREDERICTON, Oct. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor is applauding the New Brunswick's government's Throne Speech which includes improvements to workers' rights such as new legislation on workplace violence and first contract arbitration.
"The promise to introduce first contract arbitration legislation for newly unionized workplaces is an important advancement for workers and it is key to bringing New Brunswick labour law in line with other provinces," said Lana Payne, Unifor's Atlantic Regional Director.
Unifor expects the proposed legislation will help avoid disputes in reaching first contracts, allow employers and the union time to develop a positive labour relations relationship, and ensure first collective agreements are reached in a timely manner; all of which seek to strengthen workers' rights. The province's commitment to introduce robust workplace violence regulations by April 2018 is also significant and will help make workplaces safer.
"We would like to thank the New Brunswick Nurses Union who have been advocating for this workplace violence prevention law and we join them in pushing for a gold standard of protection for all workers," said Payne.
The union is also encouraged that the Gallant government "stands with representatives of the labour movement," over concerns about the erratic workers compensation premium rates and the impact this unpredictability has on workers benefits.
In addition to some of the priority areas outlined in the Throne Speech, other issues being discussed as part of a joint labour-government committee that Unifor is part of include pay equity in the private sector, worker upskilling, training and apprenticeship, and paid leave for victims of gender-based violence.
Payne said Unifor looks forward to the ongoing dialogue with the Gallant government and to advancing issues impacting New Brunswick workers.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy and about 6,500 workers in New Brunswick in the forestry, telecom, fisheries, manufacturing, hospitality and university sectors. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: please contact Unifor Atlantic Communications Representative Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (902) 478-9283 (cell)