Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher has told CBC Radio that the Union’s support of the Progressive Conservatives has left him with “buyer’s remorse” after Doug Ford’s government passed Bill 28 on Thursday.
The law imposes contracts on 55,000 education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and banned them from striking. The government’s use of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ notwithstanding clause to protect the bill from constitutional challenges has also drawn intense criticism.
“We supported them (ahead of the provincial election), but they sure didn’t have using the notwithstanding clause to attack workers’ rights in their platform as I recall,” Gallagher told Metro Morning’s Ismaila Alfa. “We’re certainly very disappointed with the government and call on them to repeal Bill 28 and get back to bargaining properly.”
Gallagher, who was interviewed alongside Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation president Karen Littlewood, warned that the use of the notwithstanding clause was unprecedented and posed a threat to workers across Canada.
“We’re concerned about CUPE, but we’re concerned right across the country about the notwithstanding clause becoming a baseball bat to beat up workers,” Gallagher said.
“Everybody in the labour movement right now is looking at each other and saying, ‘who’s next?’ There were solutions outside using the notwithstanding clause.”
You can listen to the full Metro Morning interview by clicking here.