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Fwd: Seal-bashing Newfoundland govt. tramples human rights, too

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  • SinDee
    Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 21:55:15 -0800 From: Sinikka Crosland Subject: Seal-bashing Newfoundland govt. tramples human rights, too This may be of interest to
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2006
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      Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 21:55:15 -0800
      From: Sinikka Crosland
      Subject: Seal-bashing Newfoundland govt. tramples human rights, too

      This may be of interest to those working on the seal slaughter issue.
      UN body says Danny Williams' government must act
      Flagrant violation of UN labour standards
      an international embarrassment for Canada

      St. John�s � The International Labour Organization's condemnation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservatives is so sweeping that Premier Danny Williams must take immediate corrective action, says the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

      The demand for action is also being made by NUPGE's provincial component, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE).

      "Both the provincial and federal government should be very troubled by the ILO�s ruling. It damages the human rights reputation of both the province and the Canadian government,� says Larry Brown, NUPGE's national secretary-treasurer.

      �Not only is it a black mark on Canada's respected reputation in the international community, but there are economic implications as well. Corporations do not view countries with poor human rights records as places to make stable investment," Brown says.

      Brown was in St. John�s to attend the NAPE's biennial convention.

      'Trampling human rights'

      �Although collective bargaining is considered a fundamental human right by the ILO and the United Nations, it appears that the government of Danny Williams is prepared to trample on human rights when it comes to dealing with its own employees,� says Brown.

      �The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador needs to recognize that workers� rights are human rights. All human rights must be enforced. Governments just can�t pick and choose which human rights they obey and defend,� Brown argues.

      �It�s embarrassing to the citizens of our province that our government faces such strong condemnation from an internationally respected United Nations body,� adds Carol Furlong, NAPE's newly elected president.

      �At the same time it�s somewhat heartening to know the ILO has upheld NAPE�s claim. We offered the government the opportunity to settle the dispute through the independent adjudication process set out in the Public Service (Collective Bargaining) Act. Premier Danny Williams and his government refused,� Furlong notes.

      �It gives me some comfort to hear that the ILO shares NAPE�s view that this autocratic approach to collective bargaining is a flagrant disregard to the human rights of our members and the basic principles of freedom of association.�

      Talk with premier

      Furlong also says she intends to talk to the premier in the near future about his government�s plans to implement the ILO ruling. She intends to urge the provincial government to take the ILO�s advice in future and �refrain in future from adopting such back-to-work legislation and to use the adjudication process provided for in the legislation to resolve bargaining impasses . . .�

      The ILO ruling also took issue with the lengthy term of the imposed contract and made the extraordinary request of the government to meet with the union to re-examine the imposed conditions.

      �I will be asking for a meeting with the premier to discuss with him how and when his government plans to hold these discussions with NAPE," Furlong says.

      "If he refuses to implement the recommendations of the UN body, NAPE will be asking our National Union to report back to the ILO on the flagrant disregard our government continues to show to the basic human rights of our members.� NUPGE

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