UFCW Locals 175 & 633 stands in solidarity with CUPE members and the fight for workers’ rights
November 1, 2022
Yesterday, the Ford government tabled back-to-work legislation to prevent a strike by 55,000 CUPE members scheduled to begin this Friday, once again trampling on the rights of unionized workers.
And in an extra aggressive anti-worker anti-union move, Ford made sure to include the use of the ‘notwithstanding’ clause, which makes this the second time he has enacted the rarely used legislation. Plus, the government is further bullying these workers by vowing to fine any individual CUPE member that stands up for their Charter Rights by defying the legislation and going on strike $4,000 for each infraction – basically $4,000 per day.
“The notwithstanding clause means that the Ford government does not care that this legislation is a violation of these workers’ rights,” said President Haggerty. The added clause means CUPE has no recourse to take the government to court over the back-to-work legislation being a violation of their charter rights to free collective bargaining.
Shortly after the Ford government tabled the legislation, CUPE National declared its intent to continue with the strike action scheduled to begin Friday, November 4, 2022.
“Our education workers deserve better pay and our schools are in desperate need of better funding across this province,” added President Haggerty. “This move by Ford has very little to do with the quality of education for our children and everything to do with limiting the rights of working people. He and his government continue to be dangerous for both workers and our publicly funded systems.”
UFCW Locals 175 & 633 stands in full solidarity with the Members of CUPE and their fight to hold on to workers’ rights, and to bargain free and fairly for a new collective agreement.
OFL Emergency Rally: Hands Off Workers’ Rights
The Ontario Federation of Labour is holding an Emergency Rally to tell Ford to take his hands off workers’ rights. The rally is scheduled for today, November 1, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 400 University Avenue. Find more info here: https://ofl.ca/event/hands-off-emergency-rally/.
What is the Notwithstanding Clause?
The notwithstanding clause comes from Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The use of this clause allows the provincial government to override portions of the Charter for five years at a time.
The last time Ford invoked the clause was in June 2021 following a court decision that found parts of the Election Finances Act that limited third party spending on election advertising were unconstitutional. Doug’s use of the clause restored those parts of the Act despite the ruling.
Ford also threatened to trample on voters’ rights and their right to free speech by invoking the clause in 2018 with regard to his eliminating seats on the Toronto City Council.