When the BC Teacher’s Federation took the provincial government to court over legislated contracts, the court clarified the labour rights guaranteed by the constitution. Here are some of them, cited verbatim from the 2011 decision of the BC Supreme Court that struck down Bill 28.
Though at times inconvenient to the employer, these are rights for EVERY Canadian. They are enshrined in the Canadian Charter. To take them away is to put limits on workers’ dignity. It’s also ILLEGAL.
<345> Legislated collective agreements can impair dialogue and the collective bargaining process, as noted by the BC Labour Relations Board in Health Employers’ Ass’n of British Columbia and H.E.U., BCLRB Decision No. B395/ 2004, 109 C.L.R.B.R. (2d) 1 at para. 84…
<371> The whole point of the Charter protection of collective bargaining is to allow employees the freedom to associate so as to collectively influence their working conditions, through strength of numbers which equalizes an employee‟s bargaining power with the employer.
<372> Collective bargaining is the mechanism through which labour and management seek to accommodate their differences, frequently without strife, sometimes through it, and occasionally without success. As imperfect an instrument as it may be, there is no viable substitute in a free society.
<373> Giving workers a voice in the process of determining their working conditions … is regarded as a means of increasing stability in the workplace.
<379> …the Court recognized the fundamental importance of a person’s work, as directly impacting one’s livelihood and human dignity…