Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sask. Party government thumbs its nose at United Nations-ILO

Six months ago the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) found the Sask. Party government guilty of violating the international human rights of Saskatchewan citizens by their introduction and passing of the anti-worker Bills 5 & 6.

In it's decision, the ILO called on the Wall government to (amongst other things):

- Hold full and specific consultations with unions at an early stage of considering any labour legislation...

- Take the necessary measures in consultations with unions to amend the Public Service Essential Services Act and Regulations...

- Consult with unions to ensure that a process is put into place to ensure that all social partners have confidence restored in the Labour Relations Board (LRB)...

To date, the government has complied with none of the recommendations and it's inaction continues to sully Saskatchewan's reputation on the international stage.

Recently, the government responded to a number of written questions about the ILO's recommendations which were tabled by the NDP opposition in the spring session. A summary of those questions and responses is reproduced below:

Question 1648: Has the Premier read the International Labour Organization decision?
Response: The Premier and cabinet have been briefed by the Minister responsible for Labour on the ILO Recommendations.

Question 1649: Has the Government of Saskatchewan been contacted by the federal government regarding the ILO decision and the request for the Government of Saskatchewan to report on its progress torwards implementing the recommendation?
Response: The Government of Saskatchewan will respond to the International Labour Organization through the Government of Canada in due course.

Question 1650: Has the Government of Saskatchewan informed the federal government of its intention to comply with the ILO decision?
Response: The Government of Saskatchewan is considering the non-binding recommendations of the International Labour Organization and will prepare a response in due course.

Question 1651: Will the Government of Saskatchewan comply with the ILO decision?
Response: The Government of Saskatchewan will reply to the non-binding recommendations of the International Labour Organization in due course.

Question 1652: Has the Government of Saskatchewan contacted the ILO to inform them of the government's intentions regarding the ILO decision?
Response: No. The Government of Saskatchewan will reply to the non-binding recommendations of the International Labour Organization through the Government of Canada in due course.

Question 1653: Has the Government of Saskatchewan contacted the union complainants to invite them to work with the government in complying with the ILO?
Response: No.

Question 1654: (1) Has the Premier given instructions to the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General to comply with the ILO decision? (2) If so, when? (3) If not, why not?
Response: (1) No. (2) N/A. (3) The Government of Saskatchewan remains confident that the various challenges now before the Labour Relations Board and the Courts will result in decisions that will confirm the Government has acted in a lawful manner.

Question 1655: What is your advice to this Legislative Assembly on whether we are going to be complying with the rule of law and international law as decided by the United Nations' ILO governing body?
Response: The Government of Saskatchewan is considering the non-binding recommendations of the International Labour Organization and will prepare a response in due course.
Would the Sask. Party government be ignoring a decision of a NAFTA panel, or the WTO if Saskatchewan was found guilty of violating an international trade agreement? I doubt it. So why the double standard when it comes to our international obligations respecting worker rights and human rights?

3 comments:

fancysk8r said...

Absolutely sickening!

David said...

Larry, the same ILO has ruled that forced union membership, "Thou must be a member in good standing to keep your job", and "Thou must pay dues to remain a member in good standing" are against the Europen Charter of Human Rights (to which Canada is signer).

Are you okay with Canada breaking *those* parts of an ILO ruling?

Larry Hubich said...

David,

Thank you for participating in this blog.

I am not familiar with the ILO ruling that you are referring to. Please provide me with the particular citation, or ILO report and I'll read it and respond.

I am also not aware of any legislation (Federal or Provincial) that has provisions which read:

"Thou must be a member in good standing to keep your job", and "Thou must pay dues to remain a member in good standing".

Again please provide me with a specific reference or link to the appropriate legislative provision you are quoting and I will respond to that as well.