MoveUP calls on Govt of Canada to Respect Collective Bargaining

July 4, 2023

A graphic saying Hands Off - union solidarity

MoveUP is calling out to Canada’s Minister of Labour and with it the Government of Canada to stay out of the collective bargaining process and respect ILWU members’ rights to fair and free collective bargaining.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was forced to go on strike Saturday after negotiations with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) failed. During the pandemic the longshore workers were heroes. While most Canadians sheltered in place, these workers went to work daily in spite of the health risks. They stood up for Canada when we all needed them, and now it is time for Canada to stand up for them.

MoveUP today sent a letter to Minister of Labour for Canada, Hon. Seamus O’Regan the Minister of Labour to ensure that the Government of Canada stays out of the negotiations process with the BCMEA.

In the letter Lori Mayhew, MoveUP President said “The government cannot one day say that they stand with workers and then the next day force a collective agreement on these workers—workers that stood up for Canada.” The Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms is clear and guarantees workers the rights to free association and to fair and free collective bargaining.

Canadians were shocked last fall when Premier Doug Ford tried to use the notwithstanding clause to deny workers’ rights under the Charter. Canadians’ reactions were clear: governments in Canada need to stay out of the collective bargaining process.

“Any interference will mean that government is taking sides and that is in stark opposition to Canadian’s belief in fair collective bargaining and the importance of adhering to Canadians’ charter rights. We ask that you honour the heroes who work on Canada’s ports,” said Mayhew

Read Letter