Open Letter from CEP President Dave Coles
Prime Minister Harper and Ms Raitt,
I find it nothing short of incredible that after one day of strike activity at Air Canada, you have declared a national economic crisis and announced the government’s intent to legislate against the democratic right of workers to strike.
Canada’s forest industry lost 100,000 jobs in a five year period under your government’s watch. At one point, more than half of the Canadian paper industry was under CCAA protection. In spite of our appeals for help, your government did almost nothing and we were told that this crisis was a market adjustment. No one has lost a job or even yet missed a flight at Air Canada.
There is no economic crisis arising from the actions of CAW at Air Canada. There is arguably a social crisis facing the country over the attack on workers’ pension plans taking place at Air Canada and at Canada Post. The trade union movement will fight in every way possible and strike if necessary to defend pension plans for our members and future generations of workers. Legislation to remove our rights will only make this struggle more conflictual and unnecessarily lengthy. I urge you to reconsider this reckless course of action.