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The Conservatives want to put an end to free collective bargaining at Crown corporations

On Monday night, the Conservative government tabled a bill in Ottawa to implement the 2013 budget, giving the Treasury Board broad power to intervene in collective bargaining. The Harper cabinet would now impose the terms for negotiating working conditions with unionized employees of Crown corporations, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) -– another attack on free collective bargaining.

“Harper is breaching freedom of negotiation. This is a dangerous breach that challenges the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining,” said Isabelle Doyon, president of the union of office and professional workers at Radio-Canada (CUPE 675).

The independence of the CBC is also embedded in the Broadcasting Act. The public broadcaster is the country’s most important cultural body. Its independence from all governments, regardless of the party in power, is crucial to the fulfilment of its mandate.

“The Broadcasting Act gives the Board of Directors of the CBC powers and responsibilities that, rightly, protect the public broadcaster from political interference,” added Isabelle Doyon.

New attack on workers

CUPE in its entirety fiercely denounces this new attack on the country’s workers. We will do everything in our power to stop this government which continues to interfere in the daily business of public and parapublic organizations,” said Lucie Levasseur, president of CUPE Quebec.