Picket Line Policy
The basic policy of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, CLC, regarding picket lines is best stated as follows: "It is the individual and collective duty of all trade unionists to honour the duly authorized picket line of any Trade Union." Taking into account the legal and procedural difficulties in enforcing this basic policy, the following procedure will apply when an affiliate of the Federation or any other Saskatchewan Trade Union requests Federation assistance to protect their picket lines, or when the picket line to be established affects the members of another affiliate. Nothing in the following procedure is intended to reduce any Union's right to take collective action against their employer. The procedure is intended to provide a unifying force during times of collective struggle.
1. Any affiliated local union proposing to establish picket lines which may directly affect members of other affiliated unions, must give to the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, at least 48 hours' notice (excluding weekends) to enable the Federation to call a meeting of Federation Officers and representative of all affiliated unions likely to be affected by the proposed picket lines. The only exception shall be:
(a) in emergency situations such as sudden action by an employer against a group of workers;
(b) where a general program of action, such as rotating strikes, has been agreed to by the Federation and the affiliates affected;
(c) where picketing affects only the striking union or only other unions with a special working relationship;
(d) where because of the nature of the proposed strike, secrecy of planning and implementation is a necessary ingredient.
2. At the coordinating meeting, the Federation and the affiliates concerned, shall agree on those picketing proposals which will serve the interests of the workers directly involved and of the trade union movement.
If there is no agreement at this meeting, each affiliate shall make its own decisions as to how to picket and/or respond to the proposed picket line.
3. Subsequent to an agreement being reached on picket proposals:
(a) no affiliate shall picket except in the manner agreed to, and
(b) every affiliate affected shall be obligated to take every step possible, pursuant to its constitution and its appropriate legal jurisdiction, to ensure that such a picket line is honoured.
4. The Federation and the affiliate proposing to establish picket lines shall take action, by way of membership meetings and informational publications, to inform the members who would be affected by the proposed picket line about the dispute and the reasons for the request for support.
5. Following agreement under Paragraph 3, any affiliate violating the agreement may be sanctioned by the Federation in any of the following ways:
(a) declaration that a picket line is contrary to Federation policy;
(b) withdrawal of Federation support from an affiliate violating the picket policy;
(c) suspension or expulsion of the affiliate responsible;
(d) such other sanctions as may be deemed appropriate.
6. The appropriate sanctions shall be determined by the Executive Council, with the right to appeal to the next Federation Convention.
7. Any non-affiliate seeking recognition for its picket lines must follow this procedure.
8. This policy shall be distributed once per calendar year to all organizations holding certifications in the Province of Saskatchewan.
Adopted in Convention, October, 1984
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
Working people across Saskatchewan were disappointed today to learn that, in spite of the warnings of academics and the concerns of thousands, the Government of Saskatchewan has forced Bill 85 through the Legislature.
Earlier this morning, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released an important decision recognizing that Canadian law has evolved to a point where a right to strike may be protected by the Constitution.