Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 18, 2006 15:57 ET

Canadian Workers Should be Wary of John Howard's Visit, CLC says.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 18, 2006) - The Canadian Labour Congress joined with unions and working people to protest the visit of Australian prime minister, John Howard. Canadians are aware of his government's attacks on working people in his own country.

"That John Howard is the first foreign head of government to be invited by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to speak to Parliament sends the wrong signals to ordinary working people in Canada," said Barbara Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "We are asking Mr. Harper: Do you favour these anti-workers policies John Howard has been pursuing? Canadians want to know".

Byers spoke to a crowd of working people and union activists who gathered on Parliament Hill to protest. Howard's labour policies have earned harsh criticism from the United Nation's International Labour Organization, where employers are represented, along with workers and governments.

Under Howard's government basic union duties like protecting jobs, wages and working conditions have been effectively criminalized.

Byers says Howard's reception on Parliament Hill by the government is not only an insult to working people, it's a signal they will have to work very hard to get their priorities dealt with in the current Parliament.

"Working people will need to be in constant contact with their local Member of Parliament if they want to see their priorities come first and keep the extreme policies of the government's right-wing friends where they belong," says Byers.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 135 district labour councils. Web site:

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