Without any public or worker input, the New Brunswick government is implementing wage suppression legislation. Using a devious tactic coming straight out of Stephen Harper’s playbook, Liberal Premier Brian Gallant pushes major changes to labour laws through an omnibus budget bill.
Buried in the 78 page budget, both public and private sectors labour laws are to be modified to favour employers during labour negotiations. By attacking the arbitration system, this government signals to all employers that they can now put downward pressure on the wages and benefits of all workers in the province. Tim Hudak, former Leader of the Ontario Conservatives, had proposed a similar law in 2011.
This government is attacking free collective bargaining rights and is saying that NB should remain a cheap-labour province. All of this is done through a fast-tracked omnibus bill, which removes any possibility of proper debate before adoption.
This is unacceptable and contrary to our democratic values.
Together, let’s remind Premier Gallant and Labour Minister Françine Landry that there is no place in the Maritimes for divisive Harper-style politics.