CUPE’s National President Mark Hancock sent the following letter to Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan, about the legal strike of WestJet’s mechanics:

Dear Minister O’Regan:

I write to express my concern with your statement on June 29 following the Canada Industrial Relations Board order upholding the WestJet mechanics’ right to strike.

The right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are deeply concerned by your statement that the Board’s decision on June 28 upholding this right was “inconsistent” with your direction. You are required to use the power granted to you under the Canada Labour Code in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

In our view, forced arbitration is an attack on the collective bargaining process that is incompatible with the Constitution. Additionally, attacking the right to strike only serves to further undermine the foundations of industrial peace and the freedom of association that the Constitution protects. I therefore call on you to respect the Board’s decision on the right to strike, and to refrain from interfering with the right of the WestJet mechanics to lawfully withdraw their labour.



National President