Thousands of Unifor members are still feeling stung by the provincial government after disrespect at the Crowns bargaining table and the unfettered use of scabs at the Co-op Refinery. Yet many of the conditions leading to the job actions over the last year are potentially set to change as workers head to the polls in the Saskatchewan provincial election. What follows is a primer on some of the issues for working families.
Stop privatization of Sask Crown corporations
The unprecedented privatization of Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations over the last decade is a major concern for people in every community in the province.
Not only to Crown corporations provide good jobs, they provide a cash dividend to the people of Saskatchewan and help fund schools, hospitals, and much more.
Privatization threatens to move jobs out of province and turn our public utilities into for-profit entities that answer to wealthy shareholders—not the people of Saskatchewan.
Protect union power—outlaw scabs
When the boss ships in replacement workers (known for a century as “scabs”), union workers lose bargaining leverage and communities are divided. Using scabs is illegal in British Columbia and Quebec for their known effect of prolonging strikes and lockouts.
Out-of-province scabs played a major role in the Co-op Refinery lockout, where more than 700 Unifor Local 594 members were locked out by their profitable employer for seven months.
Workers in Saskatchewan deserve a balanced collective bargaining process.
Sask needs a $15 minimum wage
Working should lift you out of poverty, but with the lowest minimum wage Canada, thousands of Saskatchewan minimum wage workers struggle to make ends meet.
Opponents of lifting the minimum wage want you to believe that only teenagers working their first part-time job at a fast food outlet are earning minimum wage.
The reality is that minimum wage workers are more likely to be working full-time jobs in big box stores. Women and racialized workers are over-represented among those working for a minimum wage.
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