Canadian Labour Reporter

January 13, 2020

Canadian Labour Reporter is the trusted source of information for labour relations professionals. Published weekly, it features news, details on collective agreements and arbitration summaries to help you stay on top of the changing landscape.

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2 Canadian HR Reporter, a HAB Press business 2020 Ontario unions launch charter challenge TORONTO — Ten Ontario unions, representing more than 250,000 public sector employ- ees, announced their intention on Dec. 17 to launch a coordi- nated charter challenge against Bill 124. "In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that the freedom of association guarantee in the Charter of Rights and Free- doms provides constitutional protection for a meaningful right to collectively bargain and for the right to strike," says Steven Barrett of Goldblatt Partners in Toronto, counsel for the union coalition. "By failing to respect these fundamental constitutional rights, Bill 124 runs roughshod over free collective bargaining and fails to respect what every experienced negotiator under- stands: the collective bargaining parties themselves are best able to negotiate agreements that reflect fiscal and workplace priorities and realities." The challenge is being brought by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Healthcare), the United Steelworkers (USW), the Pub- lic Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Society of United Professionals (IFPTE) Local 160, the Canadian Office and Profes- sional Employees Union (COPE Ontario), AMAPCEO, the Inter- national Brotherhood of Electri- cal Workers (IBEW) Local 636, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIP- SC), and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175. Bill 124 allows the govern- ment to impose compensation caps, including for pension and health-care improvements, on a variety of unionized and non- unionized public sector work- places, says the USW. In recent years, courts ruled that Ontario's Bill 115 violated workers' charter rights. In the face of legal challenges, a coordi- nated resistance campaign and public opposition, the bill was repealed, says the union. Pulp workers in Edmundston, N.B. given big raise EDMUNDSTON, N.B. — Workers at Twin Rivers Paper in Edmundston, N.B. ratified a new five-year collective agreement on Jan. 6 that included retroac- tive wage increases of 11.25 per cent over the life of the agree- ment that will expire in 2023. Other gains include produc- tion adjustments of $0.20 an hour in 2018 and 2019 and skilled- trades adjustments of $0.25 an hour in 2018 and $0.50 an hour in 2019 and 2021, says Unifor. "The agreement follows the pattern set for the sector and the fact is this mill is making money and the company knows our members are essential to its success," said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor's president. A side letter also provides 18 months of dental and health benefits for qualifying retir- ees. Workers will also receive a Family Day holiday starting next year, says the union. Unifor, Local 29 represents al- most 300 members who work at the pulp mill. PAL Airlines flight attendants join CUPE ST. JOHN'S — The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) was certified to rep- resent flight attendants at PAL Airlines in St. John's on Dec. 17. PAL is the third airline to be unionized by CUPE in 2019, after welcoming WestJet Encore in April and Swoop in May. Since July 2018, CUPE has welcomed thousands of previously non- unionized flight attendants into its ranks, says the union. Forty-four PAL flight atten- dants in total will join CUPE as a result of the certification. The next steps include electing a lo- cal union executive, establishing bylaws, and beginning contract talks with the airline, says CUPE. "We're excited to start setting up the new local union and to get to work negotiating a strong collective agreement for PAL flight attendants," says Ed White, CUPE national representative. LABOUR BRIEFS GET LISTED IN THE HR VENDORS GUIDE Visit hrreporter.com/hr-vendors-guide HR Professional Development Description: Faccaerio. 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