Friday, 21 December 2007

Saskatchewan will have WORST laws in Canada

It's confirmed. Preliminary analysis reveals that, if the current proposed changes to Saskatchewan Labour Legislation are passed, we will have the worst or tied-for-worst legislation in Canada related to union certification and essential services.

And if, as certain businesses and some politicians say - the proposed changes are "only modest" - that means our existing legislation couldn't have been that biased in favour of labour in the first place.

People have been fed a steady diet of untrue and distorted perceptions of what Saskatchewan's labour laws say - mostly from businesses and organizations that have a tiny fraction of their memberships unionized in the first place, if at all.

A classic distortion of reality was illustrated in a recent article in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Labour legislation changes welcomed - where the Executive Director of the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) is quoted as saying:

"People can be intimidated into voting one way if you stick up your hand, so with a secret ballot you can vote with your own conscience, not necessarily what anyone is telling you," she said. (emphasis added)

There hasn't been a union certified in this province by "show of hands" - EVER! Leaving that impression is quite frankly dishonest. Something we've come to expect from certain organizations.

Again, if our laws are so "pro-union and pro-labour" it would have taken more than simply "modest changes" to go from the middle of the pack to the bottom of the barrel.

Here's what some labour leaders have to say about it.

And here's what Leader-Post political columnist Murray Mandryk has to say about it. I have a proposition - you don't think Saskatchewan's new "certification" and "essential services" legislation will be the WORST in Canada? Find me something worse, and I'll gladly post a link to it.


Cathie Foster said...

Lets face it. Business people and their right wing supporters just find unions inconvenient - they have to negotiate with them, follow rules and procedures laid down in collective agreements, give people a decent salary for the work done. Ever has it been thus. Business' squawking in the media is not about making the province more competitive - we are already there. This is all about greed and avoiding giving people a fair shake. I find it hilarious that Peter Mackinnon up at the U of Sask is bleating on about needing essential services legislation because the "they hit the wall" during the CUPE strike. Peter and his stellar management team at the U of S had a chance to avoid the wall altogether. Its called negotiation. They could have ended the strike two weeks earlier but chose to walk away from an offer by the CUPE negotiators that would have essentially landed them in the same position they are now. I guess all managers have the right to be incompetent when it comes to dealing with unions. The sad thing is that the new legislation will enshrine that right. At least for awhile. There will be another election.

Mike The Greek said...

Yes Cathie, there will be another election. And these new laws won't change then either, regardless of who gets elected.

One thing you forgot to mention Larry is the editorial in the SP today.

I thought you might want some balance and consultation your view.

Adam said...

How about this Larry, since you are the expert on the matter why don't you back up your claims that Saskatchewan wasn't the most labour friendly jurisdiction in the country. Back it up with real facts and not rhetoric.

Who has more labour friendly laws than Saskatchewan, where only 25% (the lowest % in the country) is the trigger point for a vote. I believe that we are the only province currently that doesn't have essential services legislation, correct? That kind of legislation would have prevented me from driving on highways that hadn't been cleared or tended to in any way after a blizzard because of a certain high profile strike last year. Why is this legislation a bad thing?

berlynn said...

Hey, Larry, I'd like to see an analysis of labour legislation that follows right wing governments across the country from Devine to Kline to Harris to Campbell to Charest to Wall. I suspect there is much to be learned about what they have learned from each other.

As one who has rarely had the benefit of a union in my working life and as a mother of teenagers entering the workforce, it concerns me greatly that they will not have benefit of a union and that it will be more difficult for them to secure the benefit of a union in their workplaces. that's just not right. I think that our youth deserve a foot up, especially given the gawd-awful world we're leaving them.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of dissappointed that Saskatchewan's New Government didn't go further, and implement legislation making it illegal for professionals to be members of unions.

For example, many professional accountants, lawyers, engineers and agrologists are forced into the so-called "megaunions" such as the SGEU, against their wishes, and against the principles of professionalism. Professionals, especially in the public service, must be able to do their jobs free of the conflict of interest inherent with union membership.

I certainly hope that Saskatchewan follows Alberta's lead in this regard in protecting the ability of professionals to provide professional service to unionized employers.