CAW Fights Bill C68 in Nova Scotia

Sydney, Nova Scotia

June 25, 2001


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CAW Fights Bill C 68 In Nova Scotia
CAW Fights Bill C 68 In Nova Scotia
dated June 25, 2001

Sydney, Nova Scotia

       The battle to protect the health care system in Nova Scotia and workers' rights took to the streets Monday morning June 25th. Seventeen hospitals from Halifax to Sydney, Cape Breton were hit with wildcat strikes protesting Bill C 68.
       Three thousand workers belonging to CAW, along with workers from CUPE and the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union manned the picket lines in front of hospitals providing information to hospital visitors and asking other institutional workers to respect their picket lines.

Cecil Snow
President CAW Local 4603

       "The protest is across Cape Breton and up through the mainland from Halifax down. Our group represents 16 hospitals in the Cape Breton area and parts of the mainland. The idea of the protest is to kill Bill C 68 or to do some changes on it."

       CAW Local 4603 president, Cecil Snow, speaking for seventeen hundred CAW members in Cape Breton says the new Labour Bill will affect all workers.

Cecil Snow
President CAW Local 4603

       "The major problem with Bill C 68 is it doesn't give our bargaining units any rights to negotiate. The government can impose any collective agreement upon you. It takes the right to strike away, which also takes our power away to bargain properly. There are amendments that need to be made to the Bill and the government is very aware of it and I don't know why they are doing it. It's essentially going to affect every civil servant and eventually those in the private sector."

       Within hours of the protest walkout, a cease and desist order forcing the workers back to work arrived at a massive rally in Sydney from the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board. Later in the day the Nova Scotia government passed the new law. The fight however, is far from over. A work to rule campaign is already underway and more action is expected.

Cecil Snow
President CAW Local 4603

       "It's a work stoppage. It's what you call civil disobedience, I suppose. If this bill is passed there is going to be a lot more of this going on such as illegal strikes. They declared war on the trade union movement and it looks like we are out to fight it."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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