Pensions, public-sector unrest to dominate, union leader says

By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/03/2005

As an umbrella group comprising about 120 unions, the Canadian Labour Congress isn’t involved in collective bargaining. From this remove, executive vice-president Barbara Byers sees certain trends developing across bargaining tables, in both the private and public sectors.

One of them is a rising sense of frustration, particularly among employees in the public sector, said Byers. Pointing to public-worker strikes in Newfoundland and in British Columbia last year, Byers said she expects “more heat” this year.

“The public sector as employer has been letting people down for a number of years. And people are saying, ‘I’m not prepared anymore to take wage increases that are less than inflation and to find jobs that are being cut, and I’m not only doing my own job but two or three people’s jobs,’” said Byers.