March 22, 2016 – Fredericton – Out of the blue and without any public or worker input, the New Brunswick government is currently going to fast-track wage suppression legislation. The Federation of Labour recently learned that this bill could be passed during the formal adoption of the provincial budget.
“This did not figure anywhere in the Choices to Move New Brunswick Forward document. Now, it turns out, they are out for the workers’ wages in the public and private sectors,” said Patrick Colford, New Brunswick Federation of Labour President.
Both public and private sectors labour laws are to be modified to favour employers during negotiations. This would ultimately result in downward pressure on the wages of all workers in the province. Tim Hudak, former Leader of the Ontario Conservatives, had proposed a similar law in 2011.
“We have tried over and over to meet with Labour Minister Francine Landry, but she has continually postponed,” said Colford. “As time goes by, it seems like Premier Gallant wants to have labour laws modified through fine print in budget legislation, just like Harper had done with his omnibus bills,” he added.
“Firefighters, pulp and paper workers, university employees, health and education sector workers – everyone is coming together to oppose these changes,” concluded Colford.
The leadership of several public and private sector unions, representing workers in every sector of the economy, met last week. Collectively, they are urging the New Brunswick Government to halt these labour law changes.