Social Justice and Democracy

Canada’s unions are united: Want our votes? Enhance our rights!

April 18, 2024
Bruske: We want concrete action, not pretty words

OTTAWA – Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske was joined by workers’ representatives from across the country today to deliver a warning to politicians from all parties that workers are demanding more than supportive words.

“Workers are standing united, with a clear message to all parties: if you want our votes, you must respect our rights and deliver real help to workers and families. We demand concrete action, not pretty words,” warned Bruske. “All parties must pledge support for concrete actions to dismantle barriers to joining or forming a union and crack down on any company that unfairly obstructs workers from organizing.”

Bruske and her fellow labour leaders warned that workers will hold politicians to account if they fail to support concrete measures,including:

  • New Taskforce on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, with a mandate to bring forward concrete recommendations for more balanced labour laws.
  • Pledge not to pass back-to-work legislation or laws that impose collective agreements on workers.
  • Fast track federal anti-scab bill and advocate for similar laws in all jurisdictions.
  • Support automatic card certification in all provinces and territories.

Bruske released new opinion research that showed Canadians support unions because unions provide tangible benefits that improve the quality of life for workers. Sixty-two percent of Canadian voters believe more workers being part of a union is a good thing while 70% agree governments should remove barriers to joining and forming a union. Canadians cite obstacles like employer intimidation and misinformation, alongside too many hoops and onerous bureaucracy that obstruct workers from organizing.

“When unions are weaker, people’s quality of life is diminished. In tough times like today, the most powerful way to make life more affordable is to have a union behind you. We have the evidence to show Canadians get that unions secure good jobs, fair wages, decent working conditions, and better benefits,” explained Bruske. “People understand that unions help build thriving, affordable, livable communities. That’s why we must protect workers’ rights and stop allowing employers to always have the upper hand.”

“We’re ready to work together with politicians who agree to support our work to build a fairer economy, from the worker up,” Bruske concluded.

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