CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fax Your MP to Vote YES to Bill C-257

Over the next four days, if your MP is a Liberal or a Conservative let
him or her know that you expect a Yes vote on Wednesday, on Bill C-257.

How? - Go to this web site and send him or
her a fax message. You can also make a phone call. And don*t forget to
ask colleagues, friends and family members to follow your lead and do
the same.

Why? - Read on to get the full story.

Private members* bills normally pass unnoticed in official Ottawa,
dying on the House of Commons order paper before they are even debated.

However, last October, a large majority of Members of Parliament from
all parties - including one in seven Conservatives - approved in
principle Bill C-257. Next Wednesday, March 25 they will make their
final decision on it. Voting approval in third reading means that they
send the Bill on to the Senate with a recommendation that it become the
law of the land

Bill C-257 proposes to ban the use of replacement workers by employers
who fall under federal labour laws during lock-out and strikes. Judging
from Corporate Canada*s reaction since the vote in October, you*d
think it was the end of civilization as we know it!

Yet, every family knows that when underhanded employers use replacement
workers to upset the balance and fairness in collective bargaining,
everyone else loses - the broad community as well as the workers
directly involved. Negotiations drag on. Tensions escalate. The public
is divided. Communities suffer from a drop in family income,
productivity and a bad media image that deters outside investment.

In their desperation, the business lobbyists in Ottawa, have resorted
to one particularly unsavoury mistruth that has many MP*s (mostly
Liberals starting with leader St├ęphane Dion and also some Conservatives)
second guessing their support for the bill. They claim that a ban on
scabs would leave the public vulnerable to a withdrawal of essential

Nothing could be further from the truth. To begin with, essential
services in industries and services falling under federal authority are
protected by both the Canada Labour Code and other statutes that deal
specifically with federal public services. Enacting C-257 does nothing
to diminish these protections.

The existing legal safeguards set out clear responsibilities for unions
and employers to reach agreement on essential services to be maintained
during a strike or lockout. Simply put, if agreement can*t be reached
at the bargaining table, essential services agreements will be imposed
by the federal authorities.

It is clear that, despite some employers* campaign of fear, C-257
poses no threat to essential services. In fact, C-257 will reduce the
chances of disputes that put essential services at risk by bringing
much-needed fairness and balance to labour relations in the federal
In so doing, C-257 will go a long way to eliminate the threat of
tactical lockouts by employers, or strikes that happen because a few
rogue employers refuse to bargain with their workers.

Bill C-257 takes aim at the fewer than one per cent of businesses who
spurn fairness and balance in their selfish drive for greater power and
profit. A ban on replacement workers serves the interests of workers,
responsible businesspeople and the public alike.

None of us should fall for the scare tactics and mistruths of the
corporate campaign against C-257. It*s time to stand together as a
community to affirm that we all have a stake in fairness and balance in
labour relations in the federal jurisdiction. It*s time Parliament say
YES to what the MPs* know their constituents want, and NO to the
campaign of fear from the business lobbyists in Ottawa.

Go to this web site and send him or her a fax
message. You can also make a phone call. And don*t forget to ask
colleagues, friends and family members to follow your lead and do the

source CALM



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