Sunday, April 27, 2014

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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Idle No More - Priscilla Settee and Sheelah McLean


This video of Priscilla Settee and Sheelah McLean talking about Idle No More is accompanied by a Making the Links - Community Radio indepth interview with them broadcasting tomorrow night at 6 pm (Wed. Jan 9, 2013) on CFCR.ca - CFCR 90.5 FM on the dial or Channel 820 at Sasktel Max. Please tune in.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

PayWatch: The Clash for Cash

 

Overcompensated: CEO Pay Rates Show Growing Inequality in Canada


By 1:18pm on January 2, the first official working day of the year, Canada’s top 100 CEOs will have already pocketed $45,448 - the income that it takes the average Canadian an entire year of full-time work to earn.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has produced a fact sheet, Overcompensating: Executive Pay in Canada, highlights some key numbers around executive pay in Canada and also includes a list of Canada's highest paid 100 CEOs.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/overcompensating

You can also visit their pay clock, The Clash for the Cash: CEO vs. Average Joe, to find out just how much the average worker and top CEO have earned so far.
http://policyalternatives.ca/ceo/