The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour issued the following news release today:
SFL Files Charter Challenge of Bills 5 and 6
for immediate release July 29th, 2008
Today the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) filed a Statement of Claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench, launching a constitutional challenge of Bills 5 and 6.
The Bills were passed in the spring session of the legislature amid protest from workers and their unions across the province. Union leaders argued that Bills 5 and 6 violate workers’ rights to free collective bargaining and to organize new unions.
The SFL has campaigned against Bills 5 and 6 to demonstrate to the government the damaging effects of its labour legislative agenda. Under the legal arm of the campaign, the SFL will now argue in court that the Bills violate workers’ freedoms under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The unions will similarly argue that the Bills violate international laws that protect workers’ rights.
“Bills 5 and 6 reverse a sixty-five year history in our province of recognizing and expanding workers’ right to organize in order to secure safe working conditions and decent wages and benefits. The government cannot justify this rolling back of workers’ rights,” said SFL President Larry Hubich.
“In a world where corporate profits soar and income gaps and wage inequality are widening at an alarming rate, workers need now more than ever the ability to collectively bargain and to join unions. The labour movement is clear: we have no choice but to stand up for workers and to defend their right to free collective bargaining,” added Hubich.
The unions are asking the court to strike down Bills 5 and 6.
As of July 29th, eighteen unions have added their names as co-plaintiffs.
The SFL represents nearly 95,000 unionized workers from 37 affiliated unions in Saskatchewan.
Download the News Release in PDF format here.
Download the Statement of Claim in PDF format here.