If it works, change it: Georgetti criticizes back door changes to Labour Code

June 6, 2013
OTTAWA ― The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has expressed outrage over a back door attempt by the Conservative government to interfere in labour relations and the established rights of workers to join and remain in a union.

Ken Georgetti was responding to the introduction of Bill C-525, a private member’s bill to change certification and decertification procedures in the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, and the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
“The Canada Labour Code enjoys a great deal of respect and support among federal unions and federal employees,” Georgetti says. “This support is the result of the tripartite process  that has been followed for decades as a consultative process for amending the Labour Code and its application.”

Georgetti asks, “Who’s running the legislative show with this government? Changes to labour laws are the responsibility and purview of the Labour Minister. It makes no sense to have a backbench MP, with no experience in labour relations or the operation of the Canada Labour Code, making significant changes to process around both joining and decertifying unions. This sends a very bad signal to stakeholders.”

Georgetti adds that there are no serious issues in federal labour relations that require amendments to the Canada Labour Code and other federal labour legislation. “It is completely inappropriate to politicize the amendment process and to ignore a process that has worked well, has the support of the parties involved, and is so vital to industries in the federal sector, which are key drivers of Canada’s economy. This type of action by the government undermines an established process and will have unintended consequences that will create problems for government, employers and unions.”

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils.