In unprecedented move, Sask. Party government rejects labour appointment to LRB

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

August 4, 2017

 

In unprecedented move, Sask. Party government rejects labour appointment to LRB

 

In a letter dated July 31, 2017, the Deputy Minister for Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Mike Carr, wrote to the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) informing us that Minister Don Morgan has confirmed the Sask. Party government is denying a labour appointment to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB). This circumstance marks a troubling new precedent of the provincial government hand-picking labour representatives, even if those representatives do not have the support of the group they represent.

 

“It has always been the case that the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council nominate individuals who have our confidence to sit on the SLRB as labour representatives. Until now, the provincial government has always accepted those nominations,” said Lori Johb, secretary-treasurer of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), “the Sask. Party government is now dictating who can and who cannot represent labour, and it’s just another example of their disregard for working people and balance between employers and workers,” she added.

 

The individual denied by the Sask. Party government is SFL president Larry Hubich, who was nominated by the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council.

 

“Larry Hubich has the experience and fair judgement to be a labour representative on the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board,” said Johb, “he has been involved in the labour movement for nearly 40 years. He has represented working people at labour relations boards and arbitrations in the past; he has sat on Minister Morgan’s own ‘Minister’s Advisory Committee’, he teaches labour law courses, and has a fundamental understanding of Saskatchewan’s labour laws and regulations partially due to his leadership when the SFL successfully challenged the Sask. Party government’s essential services legislation all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada,” she added. “If Larry Hubich isn’t qualified, who is?”

 

The Sask. Party government's stated reason for denying the appointment is that Larry Hubich has a position with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, thereby – according to the government – making him ineligible to sit on the SLRB. However, this arbitrary rule has never been applied to officials or staff people from other unions who sit on the SLRB, and it has certainly never been applied to employer representatives who hold positions with the Chamber of Commerce, for example.

 

“It borders on cronyism that the Sask. Party government will appoint Chamber of Commerce officials to the SLRB, but not Saskatchewan Federation of Labour officials,” said Johb, “in fact, before Mike Carr became a Deputy Minister he sat on the SLRB as an employer representative – even though he came right out of the Chamber of Commerce, even serving as Chair of the Chamber’s Human Resources Committee while being an employer representative on the SLRB. The absurdity of denying this appointment is clear. I am calling on Minister Don Morgan to do the right thing and appoint Larry Hubich to the SLRB,” she added.

 

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For additional information, contact:

 

Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

o: 1 (306) 525-0197

m: 1 (306) 570-1855

e: k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!