Manitoba unions file court injunction against heavy-handed labour law

On July 4, the Partnership to Defend Public Services, a group of public sector unions, filed for an injunction against the so-called Public Services Sustainability Act, recently passed by the Manitoba government. PSAC is one of the unions involved in the Partnership.

"The Pallister government has passed a new law that fundamentally undermines collective bargaining rights. It's unfair and it's unconstitutional," said Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck, on behalf of the Partnership. "We are launching a full constitutional challenge and we are seeking an injunction, to prevent this new law from being proclaimed until after a court ruling."

The Partnership filed a statement of claim in the Court of Queen's Bench challenging the constitutionality of the Public Services Sustainability Act. The action includes a request for an injunction that would prevent the government from proclaiming the Act.

Rebeck said that for months public sector unions made every effort to engage in a constructive way with government but that the process was unproductive.

He also noted that government:

  • Refused to answer any questions including those about their basic objectives or financial assumptions.
  • Provided no feedback on proposals from public sector unions.
  • Made no amendments to Bill 28, despite concerns raised by labour at committee hearings.

“These attacks on the public sector and the workers who deliver services will not come without a fight,” said Marianne Hladun, PSAC Prairies Regional Executive Vice President. “We will use every avenue available to push back against the Pallister government’s assault on unions and collective bargaining.”

The Partnership to Defend Public Services represents more than 125,000 Manitoba workers.

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July 5, 2017
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