Proposed Changes to Manitoba Labour Relations Act is attack on fundamental workers’ rights
October 19, 2020 at 10:20 PM
Recently, the Manitoba government introduced a number of bills; among them is Bill 16: The Labour Relations Amendment Act.
The bill includes a number of changes that attacks unions and weakens labour relations in the province. Below is a summary of some of the most concerning aspects of the bill.
- The bill would completely remove the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism that requires arbitrators to settle collective agreements after 60 days of a strike or lockout. This mechanism has served workers in Manitoba well for a number of years and will no doubt lead to more prolonged labour disputes in the province.
- The bill would place onerous rules for financial reporting and disclosure of union staff compensation upon public sector unions.
- The bill would make it easier for employers to fire employees for what the employer deems to be strike related misconduct.
- The bill would reduce the thresholds for holding decertification votes down to 40%.
- The bill would eliminate current protections that are in place to ensure workers are provided notice of technological changes that could impact their jobs.
- The bill would prohibit employers from paying wages or otherwise compensating an employee who takes a full-time leave from their employment to hold an executive position in a public sector union.
“This bill is yet another attack by the Pallister government on the fundamental rights of workers’ in our province,” said Local 500 President Gord Delbridge. “Our front-line workers who continue to keep us safe and deliver critical services each and every day, deserve better.”
The bill is not yet passed or in force but could be by next spring. The Local will update the membership as more information becomes available.