Earlier this week, the Government of Ontario passed legislation which imposed a contract on 55,000 education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Included in the legislation was the rarely invoked notwithstanding clause, which blocks a constitutional challenge by the union over charter rights, that being the right to strike.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers opposes the use of this legislation by the government to impose a contract and block charter rights. “We believe that the use of the Notwithstanding Clause is an extreme action which should never be used to interfere in the freedom to bargain collectively” said International Vice President Russ Shewchuk. “The IBEW was founded on the very principles of what this government is attempting to strip away. Our hope is that the parties can return to the table and negotiate an agreement as soon as possible.”
IBEW Canada urges the Ontario Government and CUPE to resume negotiations to resolve their outstanding issues.