Manitoba unions want Supreme Court to weigh in on public-sector wage freeze case

·1 min read

WINNIPEG — Public-sector unions in Manitoba are hoping to appeal a court ruling that said the government had a right to impose a wage freeze on more than 100,000 workers.

The coalition of unions says it is asking the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case in order to protect collective bargaining rights.

The Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill in 2017 to impose a two-year wage freeze, with small increases in the third and fourth year, on any new public-sector agreement.

A Court of Queen's Bench judge ruled the move violated bargaining rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and struck down the wage freeze.

But the government took the matter to the Court of Appeal, which overturned the lower court ruling and said the government was within its authority.

Kevin Rebeck, head of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, says he is hoping the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.

"When we launched our constitutional challenge to the ... government’s wage-freeze law, we knew it would not be a quick process. But we will always stick up for the rights of workers," Rebeck said in a press release Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2021

The Canadian Press

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