UCCO-SACC-CSN National President on the use of the nothwithstanding clause in a labour dispute
Dear Premier Ford,
I am the National President of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN), representing more than 7000 federal Correctional officers across Canada. I am writing you to expressly object to the Legislation introduced on Oct 31st, (Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, 2002) and your governments plan to invoke the notwithstanding clause.
We call on your government to withdraw this legislation immediately and respect the collective bargaining rights which are protected under 2(d) of the Charter, and work to resolve the labour dispute with the Ontario education workers by negotiating a fair contract with what are some of the lowest paid workers in the education system.
The notwithstanding clause is something which should only be used in the direst circumstances, and it should never be taken lightly when a government wants to infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Most specifically workers’ rights to collectively bargain.
The collective bargaining process is not new to Canada. Thousands of collective agreements between unions in both the private and public sector have been negotiated in Canadian history. These agreements have been negotiated without the use of a notwithstanding clause because the recognition of the right to associate and collectively bargain has been respected. By stomping on these rights, your government will forever be remembered as the government that does not care about labour rights and one that does not respect Canadian values and freedoms.
We therefore urge you to withdraw this legislation.
UCCO-SACC-CSN, stands in solidarity with the CUPE education workers of Ontario, and all workers who face such fascist ideology.
UCCO-SACC-CSN National President