Toronto – February 5, 2015 – In Canada, the Supreme Court recently affirmed workers' right to strike as essential to meaningful collective bargaining. It is now Canada’s responsibility to support this decision at the international level.
The right to strike is a powerful and fundamental foundation of democracy and economic justice. When employers refuse to negotiate, workers can withdraw their labour to balance the dominance and privilege of the few with the power of collective action. Often this fundamental right is the only tool that workers have at their disposal to combat injustice and exploitation.
But employer groups from around the world are now trying to kill the right to strike. They want a global workforce that is powerless and passive. They intend to permanently change the balance of power in the workplace and in society for their own benefit.
At a meeting next month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will consider a proposal to refer whether the right to strike is enshrined within ILO Convention 87 to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Our union believes this is the proper course of action.
In advance of the Global Day of Action for the Right to Strike - February 18, we are asking UFCW Canada members, staff, and allies to call on the Canadian government to support the proposal that would refer this matter to the ICJ. We are also calling on the government to use its influence to convince other countries attending the meeting to vote in favour of the proposal.