This Letter to the Editor appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on July 3, 2016.
Re: Anti-ballot union stance lacks support
I couldn’t agree more that it’s time to bring balance back to Manitoba’s labour laws. The Pallister government’s proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act, are a good first step in righting lopsided labour laws that have long been the hallmark of bad public policy in Manitoba. Although traditionalist union members beg to differ, it’s hard to argue that ending forced unionization and bringing back the secret ballot is anything but the right thing to do. It’s fair and it’s democratic. It’s a good start for the new government, which has promised far more, including a level playing field that opens government tendering to all qualified companies and workers whether they have a craft union or alternative union affiliation, or otherwise. When there’s fair competition, workers, employers and taxpayers all benefit. As the new Manitoba government revamps antiquated labour laws, it should look no further than Saskatchewan to see how it’s done. Bill 80, implemented by the Wall government, ended the monopoly that forced construction workers to belong to a government-designated union, instead allowing any trade union to organize in construction. Restoring workers’ rights and allowing a tendering process that’s fair, open and competitive in Manitoba, would be a welcome change that’s long overdue.
Darrel Reid, VP Policy and Advocacy
Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)