CLAC Urges Manitoba Government to Respect Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association
Winnipeg—CLAC urges the Manitoba government to respect healthcare workers’ right to freedom of association and allow them join the union of their choosing. The recently introduced Bill 29, the Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act, would amalgamate existing bargaining units in the public healthcare sector into seven units each represented by one union, thus restricting workers’ right to join the union of their choice.
In a society with a multiplicity of unions, competition between unions promotes better service and accountability to members. By amalgamating bargaining units, it becomes more difficult for dissatisfied workers to change unions or unionize with an alternative union like CLAC.
CLAC understands the need for efficiencies and sees the value of reducing the number of bargaining units. It is calling on the Manitoba government to amend Bill 29 to allow for new workplaces to be unionized, and that when such a union is an alternative, independent, and unaffiliated union, such workplaces be allowed to remain separate and distinct from the seven bargaining units outlined in the proposed bill.
CLAC’s proposed amendment would not exclude the possibility of common-table bargaining. Such bargaining would allow the government to gain the efficiencies it desires and thus reduce costs while respecting workers’ freedom of association.