Labour Board Rejects Unions’ Latest Attempt to Block Worker Choice

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The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board dismissed the latest attempt by unions affiliated with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) to stop the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) from representing construction workers in the province.

Sakatoon—The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board dismissed the latest attempt by unions affiliated with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) to stop the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) from representing construction workers in the province.

The board ruled that the unions, including ones representing retail and government employees, cannot intervene in CLAC’s application to represent employees of several construction contractors working in Saskatchewan.

“This is a huge victory for construction workers across Saskatchewan,” says Dennis Perrin, CLAC Prairies director. “It means they are one step closer to being able to select a union of their own choosing.”

The decision by the board follows months of hearings and litigation in which unions affiliated with the SFL—including non-construction ones—attempted to block Saskatchewan construction workers from exercising their charter right to freedom of association in choosing which union they want to represent them.

The passage of Bill 80 in 2010, which amended the Saskatchewan Construction Industry Labour Relations Act, granted unions such as CLAC the legal right to represent construction workers in the province, ending nearly twenty years of legislated monopoly.

“Union’s with the SFL should focus on meeting the needs of their members instead of trying to preserve their monopoly,” says Perrin. “Union competition in Saskatchewan’s construction industry is long overdue. When workers have choice in representation, it makes all unions more accountable to their members’ concerns.”

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CLAC is an independent Canadian labour union representing over 50,000 workers in a wide range of sectors―construction, health care, retail, service, transportation, manufacturing, and others. Based on principles that promote the values of respect, dignity, fairness, and integrity, CLAC’s approach to labour relations stresses membership advocacy, cooperation, and the long term interests of the workplace community.

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Dennis Perrin
CLAC
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