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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 17, Number 6, April 2005

Campbell Liberals are repeat offenders

With an election just around the corner, the Gordon Campbell government’s outlaw status in the international community has been confirmed by a key United Nations’ agency.

In a March 23, 2005, response to a complaint lodged by several labour organizations including the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, the Health Sciences Association, and the Canadian Labour Congress, the International Labour Organization (ILO) concluded that legislation passed in 2003 violated international conventions that protect workers’ rights to freely associate and organize.

One of these laws, Bill 94, attempts to deny contract workers in healthcare the basic successorship rights enjoyed by workers in other sectors. Bill 94 was designed to sharpen the attack on healthcare workers first introduced via the contract-breaking provisions contained in Bill 29.

The ILO wants the B.C. government to repeal or rewrite Bill 94 to bring it into line with international labour standards.

The latest finding makes the Campbell Liberals repeat offenders.

In 2003, the UN agency found the Campbell government in violation of the same convention on freedom of association after it passed Bills 27, 28, and 29, which gutted collective agreements in healthcare, education, and post-secondary education.

Campbell’s response at the time betrayed a shocking contempt for international labour standards when he stated that he had no intention of making the changes needed to comply with the ILO ruling.

Source: HEU Guardian, April 2005.

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