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The International Labour Organization (ILO) has again found the BC government in contravention of international labour law by interfering in collective bargaining and undermining the province’s collective bargaining system. Read the ILO excerpt. PDF file; Acrobat Reader required. 

“This is another example of the Liberal government in British Columbia thumbing its nose at international laws to which Canada is a signatory,” says Jinny Sims, President of the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). “It’s time the BC Liberals be held accountable for their actions and for their flagrant violations of the laws by which we all abide. This government’s disregard and disrespect for workers is shameful.”

The ruling is the fourth in a series that condemn the BC government’s treatment of teacher bargaining rights. The ILO states the government actions “can only, in the long term, prejudice and destabilize the labour relations climate” in BC.  In this latest decision regarding last year’s imposition of a contract on BC teachers, the ILO says it “deeply regrets” the government’s “continuing interference in collective bargaining through legislation aimed at stripping the BCTF of its collective bargaining rights.” 

The ILO has taken the unusual step of offering technical assistance to the BC government in attempts to stop its history of violations.

Moreover, according to Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, “The Canadian government has to take steps to guarantee the enforcement in Canada of internationally recognized labour rights.  Working women and men, across this country, view with alarm the continuous infringements by provincial and federal governments of these conventions that they have signed and ratified.”

The BCTF began challenging the Liberal government through the United Nations when it became evident the government was in violation of international labour laws. In every case to date, the government has been condemned for its legislative actions, yet ignores all directives to cease and desist. Sims points out that, “last year’s teachers’ strike was predicted by the ILO in an earlier decision, when it warned that continued government legislation would destabilize the labour relations in the province.”

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For more information, contact Yvonne Eamor, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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