Sask. to revamp labour laws

Changes would end automatic certification

A labour-law overhaul is the first order of business for Saskatchewan's new government when the first session of the legislature begins on Dec. 10.

Premier Brad Wall plans to introduce changes to labour laws that will put an end to the automatic certification of unions when a majority of employees in a workplace sign union cards and give employers greater latitude to communicate with employees during organizing drives.

Wall, whose Saskatchewan Party defeated the ruling NDP in a provincial election earlier this month, said the changes will make Saskatchewan's labour laws competitive with other provinces.

One of the first acts of the new government was to combine the labour portfolio with advanced education and employment, a move former premier Lorne Calvert called "questionable."

The department of labour needs to be independent so it can represent both employers and workers fairly, said Calvert.

But MLA Rob Norris, who has taken responsibility of labour, advanced education and immigration, said all three areas are mutually complementary and interconnected.

The Saskatchewan Party was created in 1997 and comprises members of the old provincial Progressive Conservative party as well as former Liberal Party members.

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