Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 23, 2012 16:46 ET

Georgetti Writes to Minister Raitt About CP Strike

Says government interference will do 'irreparable harm'

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 23, 2012) - The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has written to Labour Minister Lisa Raitt to express "outrage" at her interference in collective bargaining in the strike at Canadian Pacific Railways.

"Only 10 hours after the workers went on strike, you and your government decided to put back-to-work legislation on the order paper in the House of Commons," Ken Georgetti says in his letter to the minister. "Why would any federal employer bargain in good faith with its workers?"

Georgetti adds in his letter, "Your government is flagrantly taking away people's right to strike in an aggressive and biased approach to labour relations in the federal sector. We cautioned you in the Air Canada dispute about introducing this very same legislation. You didn't listen, and quite frankly, labour relations at Air Canada are a mess. Taking away people's rights and not allowing them to freely negotiate and vote on their collective agreement will cause irreparable harm to future labour relations between the workers and the unions with their employer."

Georgetti urges Minister Raitt to stay out of the dispute and to allow the Teamsters union and CP Rail come to a negotiated settlement. "Publicly talking about back-to-work legislation only serves to give the employer an advantage and has far reaching negative implications for future labour relations between the parties at CP Rail, and in other federally regulated sectors as it sends a signal to every federally regulated employer that they need not bargain."

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. Web site: Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour.

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