MONTREAL, Jan. 30, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – The President, the Secretary General and all FTQ-affiliated unions were glad to learn of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the right to strike as a fundamental right, following a case that pitted the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour against the government of that province. “This is a historic decision because it restores balance to the relationship of power between public sector employees and their employer, which had clearly deteriorated due to intervention by governments,” explained Daniel Boyer, President of the FTQ, talking about public sector workers’ right to strike.
“This major decision changes the current state of law concerning the right to strike – it reaffirms that the right to strike is directly related to the right to organize and, therefore, to our rights, as people, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” added Serge Cadieux, Secretary General at the FTQ. The central labour body sees this judgement as a historic turning point that had become necessary after the same court had, in the late 1980s, seriously jeopardized the balance in the relationship of power – the foundation of the entire labour relations structure in Canadaand Quebec.
“This judgement is timely, since the Quebec government has just entered negotiations with more than 500,000Quebec public sector employees,” said Daniel Boyer. “But I would remind everyone that, in Quebec, almost 98% of collective bargaining is brought to a resolution every year without conflict, and that this decision in no way changes our day-to-day commitment to the public’s health and safety during labour disputes,” he added.
“Strikes are never any more than a last resort that is rarely turned to. What most workers want will always be settlements negotiated in good faith,” concluded Mr. Cadieux.
The FTQ, Quebec’s largest labour confederation, represents more than 600,000 workers.
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