SEIU-West members from across the province converged at the Government of Saskatchewan Cabinet Office in Saskatoon Nov. 26 to deliver their message about expected Labour Legislation changes being introduced in the Legislature this fall.
“It’s important for every working person in this province to be aware of what the government is doing,” said Judy Denniss, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who works at Saskatoon City Hospital. “The government would not take away the basic tools that we need in order to get our job done, so why strip down the basic rules that govern our workplaces?”
The action is in response to the proposed overhaulof Labour Laws in Saskatchewan.
“We have managed to get hundreds of postcards signed since September 6 in support of keeping our current labour legislation intact and keeping the province moving forward; many of our SEIU-West members have also submitted their thoughts through the labour review process,” said Neil Colmin, a Home Care worker from Moose Jaw. “We work for the people of Saskatchewan, we are proud of the work we do and we will continue our work to help ensure that labour laws protect working people, unionized or not.”
“All of our members are working people,” said Janice Platzke, Treasurer of SEIU-West. “They want the assurance of proper rules to work by to keep them safe, and allow them to provide for their families. Our members want to ensure that they and other working people can continue to work to live, not live to work.”
SEIU-West members participated in the Consultation Process by submitting their individual letters to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. In July of 2012, SEIU-West submitted their formal response on behalf of their over 12,000 members.
“Weakening labour legislation for workers will not help the current workforce or our kids who are coming out of the school system and expecting a good job in a safe work environment,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We have enjoyed the benefit of an eight-hour work day and a 40 hour work week since 1971; now our children will have to fight to restore this protection – a protection that was won by workers in our parents’ generation. This is an issue for all of us – whether you are a union member or not.”
SEIU-West represents more than twelve thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.