An election commitment by the federal Liberal government to Canadian workers has now become law, with the final passage of Bill C-4 by the Senate yesterday. The new law effectively repeals two major pieces of anti-union legislation introduced by the Harper Conservative government, which now restores card check certification in federally-regulated sectors and ends the cumbersome and discriminatory annual financial reporting requirements for labour organizations.
On the same day, the Canadian government also finally ratified International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 98: The Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.
Federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu was at the ILO in Geneva to ratify Convention 98 on behalf of Canada, affirming the country’s commitment to fair labour relations and free collective bargaining rights. Convention 98 is considered by ILO to be the minimum “enabling rights” workers need to defend and improve their conditions on the job.
“These are important wins for our movement and a reminder of why we must push every single day for progressive laws and governments that don’t attack working people,” said National President Jerry Dias. “I am pleased that we are now undoing some of the harm caused by nearly a decade of Conservative rule.”
The labour movement has been pushing successive governments since 1949 to ratify the convention. The decision makes Canada the 165th country to ratify the convention, which protects workers from anti-union discrimination and being terminated for participating in union activities. Provincial and territorial governments will now be expected to follow suit.
For more information on Convention 98: The Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949, please click here.