IAMAW challenging Bill C-33 in court

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) is going to challenge Bill C-33 in court. That legislation was used by the Conservative government to head off a strike by Air Canada’s 8,300 machinists and ground workers (which the IAMAW represents) in mid-March, sending them to arbitration. IAMAW Canada’s general vice-president, Dave Ritchie said that “Removing free collective bargaining and the right to strike from workers in the federal sector will poison labour relations between our members and Air Canada for years to come.” Ritchie continued: “The freedom of association is one of the fundamental rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What other rights will they take away from working Canadians in the future if we do not take a stand now?” The IAMAW will be represented by leading constitutional lawyer, Paul Cavalluzzo, who is already handling a similar challenge by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). According to Ritchie: “The government did not allow the free collective bargaining process to run its course. Instead the government came down clearly on the side of the employer and declared open season on workers rights. We simply cannot stand by and allow that to happen.” Go to http://www.iamaw.ca/indexen.php for more.