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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:20

Scrap proposed labour law changes

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I am writing this letter to address my concern over the Saskatchewan Government’s proposed amendments to our current labour legislation.

 I am deeply saddened the past struggle and fight of the hard-working people of Saskatchewan appears all for naught. Our fathers and grandfathers struggled to achieve our current labour rights and freedoms for all labour workers in Saskatchewan, not just unionized workers.
I view Saskatchewan as a place that holds high values for having the ability to support their families. The people of Saskatchewan are proud people who work hard, play hard and devote time to their province, communities and families.
The proposed amendments offering our hard workers reductions in vacation time, statuatory holidays, changes to the standard hours of work and overtime provisions, may look attractive on paper for provincial budgetary purposes, but these proposed labour legislative changes do not fair well for the working class and their families.
The people of Saskatchewan have remained in Saskatchewan because of their love for this province, not because we are getting rich from it. There is a sense of pride to belong to Saskatchewan. In every province I have travelled in Canada, when I say I am from Saskatchewan, they always comment on our pride, the hard-working people, the farmers and the Roughriders.
 I hope this legacy continues to affirm our province as being positive, family-orientated, friendly, and inviting; not a province that shows little regard towards the working class; and a province that chooses to squeeze every penny they can from the workers and only providing rewards to those who already have the financial means. I am a unionized member of SGEU and a proud one.
As a union member, I take pride in working with management to create a better work environment for the future generations to come. Working together is the key to a working relationship — not giving an unfair advantage to one side and rolling back the rights of the worker. Perhaps, if the Saskatchewan Government would like to make these changes to our current labour legislation, they should consider giving it a trial run? Perhaps having a two-year trial period within their own cabinet and staff, just to see how things work for them first.
Then, after the bugs are worked out, step on them.
The current provincial government must consider having meaningful discussions with unions, members of the working class, and employers alike to revise the plan to something that will work.
Better yet, consider scrapping these proposed changes to our province’s labour legislation altogether.
Tracey Sauer, proud health-care worker and SGEU member, Sask.

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