OTTAWA – Instead of lockouts, back-to-work laws and intimidation tactics, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs must start bargaining in good faith with striking public sector workers – many who have toiled tirelessly throughout the pandemic on the frontlines.
“On behalf of the Canadian Labour Congress, I want to express our solidarity and support to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members in New Brunswick,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Frontline workers who did so much to keep our communities going throughout the pandemic deserve so much better. Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with CUPE workers.”
Despite the strike being now in its 12th day, Premier Higgs has declared the government has no plans to return to the bargaining table. Last Friday, the New Brunswick government announced they were using the Emergency Measures Act and the COVID-19 state of emergency to force some public employees back to work.
“Premier Higgs could end this dispute but seems to lack the will to do so. Turning to back-to-work legislation or using the province’s COVID-19 emergency order to block a strike – rather than negotiating a solution in good faith around the table – shows the premier’s lack of commitment to good faith negotiations,” concluded Bruske. “New Brunswick’s Public Sector workers aren’t only fighting for themselves, they are fighting for fair wages, real quality of life improvements and protecting pensions for people across New Brunswick and across Canada.”
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