Sask. labour minister announces changes to labour laws

Unions upset over announcement to business association

Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s minister of labour relations and workplace safety, revealed proposed changes to the province’s labour laws on Friday.

The changes would force unions to be more transparent in how dues are spent. In addition, Morgan said the province’s intention is to strip unions of their right to impose fines on members crossing picket lines.

"Unions should certainly have the right to discipline their members," Morgan told the CBC. "The issue is whether it should come off their paycheque by way of direct debit."

The news came at a luncheon of the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) on Friday, and unions are upset about the way the announcement was made, more specifically that the minister released the information to a group of local business people and not to working Canadians, according to the CBC.

"I can’t understand why there would be no mention of these details when the minister was face-to-face with the working people directly affected by this legislation,” Bob Bymoen, president of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU), said in a press release. “A government that respects and values its workers shares information fairly, especially with the parties involved. Why would the minister feel obligated to tell the NSBA and not the working people of this province?"

The legislation still needs to be approved by the Saskatchewan government, and it is expected to be finalized by the end of the legislative session on Dec. 6.

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