Monday, October 01, 2007

Unions challenge labour laws

article: Edmonton Journal
Last month, carpenters were prohibited from going on strike because a sufficient number of other construction unions reached settlements with their employers. Under the Labour Relations Code, if agreements are reached with 75 per cent of the bargaining units in the construction industry, the remaining unions are forced into binding arbitration.

According to court documents, of the 1,817 ballots cast by carpenters in the strike vote, 1,543 favoured a strike, 64 voted against striking and 210 ballots were in dispute.
The union's lawsuit seeks to strike down the 75-per-cent threshold provision and other impediments to collective bargaining and striking.

"It goes to the issue of freedom of association and to bargain collectively and strike independently," said Piper. "Those rights have been taken away."

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Gordon Campbell government in B.C. had breached workers' rights as guaranteed by the charter when it invalidated a collective agreement that had been signed with hospital workers by the previous administration.

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