On April 28th, the federal government introduced back-to-work legislation targeting workers at the Port of Montreal. The 1,150 workers, members of Canadian Union of Professional Employees Local 375, had been on strike to defend work-life balance, workplace safety, and job security.
While the union had repeatedly offered to return to the bargaining table the employer refused, secure in the knowledge that the government would intervene on their behalf. The workers now face the potential of heavy fines if they exercise their right to strike, while the employer is emboldened to pursue its concessionary agenda.
Free collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental rights of all working people. In introducing this legislation, the government tramples the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and court rulings, including of the Supreme Court of Canada.
A vote on back-to-work legislation can be seen as a referendum on who believes in basic, fundamental workers rights. Many purport to, until those rights become an inconvenience to a powerful employer.
The MP’s who took a stand for workers rights and voted against back-to-work legislation on April 28th in our District were:
Don Davies, Vancouver Kingsway, NDP
Jenny Kwan, Vancouver East, NDP
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Vancouver Granville, Independent
The MP’s who voted in favour of back-to-work legislation were:
Terry Beech, Burnaby North-Seymour, Liberal
Kenny Chiu, Steveston—Richmond East, Conservative
Hedy Fry, Vancouver Centre, Liberal
Joyce Murray, Vancouver Quadra, Liberal
Harjit S. Sajjan, Vancouver South, Liberal
Patrick Weiler, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Liberal
Jonathan Wilkinson, North Vancouver, Liberal
Alice Wong, Richmond Centre, Conservative
Don’t see your MP listed? Visit https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en/votes/43/2/102 to check how they voted.
We stand in full solidarity with CUPE Local 375 and will circulate any requests for support that we receive going forward.