The Conservative minority government is using the proverbial “sledgehammer to crack a nut” when it comes to bypassing Charter rights to workers and residents.
“The NB Federation of Labour (NBFL) fears that NB Government will drive workers out of NB with its relentless attack on constitutional rights. Just within the last 7 days, we have had three clear examples of this,” said Daniel Légère, President of the NBFL.
Last Friday, the New Brunswick government admitted that they were looking to deny Charter protected collective bargaining rights for Firefighters and Police. On the mandatory vaccination file, they announced that they wanted to use the Notwithstanding Clause, an exceptionally severe Charter bypass method.
This Monday, Government proposed to impose severe bargaining restrictions on the backs of nurses and nursing home workers. This is done through Bill 17, which aims to amend the Essential Services in Nursing Homes Act.
“New Brunswickers should worry about the slippery slope they are getting us on. Government is spending millions of dollars helping employers find and train workers with one hand and using extreme measures to strip workers of their constitutional rights on the other,” said Légère,
“This minority government is playing a dangerous game when it trivializes fundamental rights and attacks the very essence of the Charter, which is to protect citizens from abuses by governments,” concluded Légère.
The New Brunswick Federation Labour is the largest central labour body in the province of New Brunswick. It represents 35,000 unionized workers in both the public and private sectors.
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