UFCW welcomes government’s repeal of anti-union bills, commitment to collective bargaining rights

Toronto – June 16, 2017 – UFCW Canada welcomes the federal government’s repeal of anti-union legislation from the Stephen Harper era, and the government’s commitment to protect and advance the union and collective bargaining rights of all workers in Canada.

The federal Liberal government’s Bill C-4 received Royal Assent in the Senate on June 14, officially repealing the anti-union Bills C-377 and C-525 once and for all. Bill C-377 would have infringed on union members’ privacy and placed onerous, costly, and unfair financial regulations on unions and their members. Bill C-525, meanwhile, targeted the ability of workers to exercise their constitutional right to join a union by changing federal labour laws to make it much more difficult to join a union, and easier to leave one. Both bills were specifically designed to weaken unions in Canada.

The same day, the government also demonstrated its support for union rights and the collective bargaining process by ratifying the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining. By ratifying Convention 98, Canada has solidified its commitment to fair labour and employment conditions for all workers, while recognizing the essential role that unions and collective bargaining rights play in building stronger, fairer, and more inclusive workplaces and communities.

"We applaud the actions taken by the Minister of Labour to restore fairness in our federal labour laws and demonstrate Canada’s commitment to union and collective bargaining rights for every worker,” says Paul Meinema, the National President of UFCW Canada. "With the passage of Bill C-4, and the ratification of Convention 98, the federal government is clearly indicating its understanding of the crucial role that strong unions and fair labour relations play in advancing the rights and livelihoods of all workers in Canada,” the UFCW Canada leader adds.

Prior to the passage of Bill C-4, our union campaigned strongly against the anti-union Bills C-377 and C-525, arguing that both bills infringed on the privacy and constitutional rights of workers and unions.

As Canada's leading union for retail and food workers, UFCW Canada represents over 250,000 workers across the country working in the food retail and processing, agriculture, health care, security, and hospitality industries, as well as other sectors of the economy. UFCW Canada is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities.