Alison Braley-Rattai, Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies, wrote a piece for The Conversation which was picked up by the National Post and other publications Wednesday, Nov. 28. The article focused on Bill C-89, which ended the rotating strikes that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers had engaged in for more than a month and sends the labour dispute to third-party, binding arbitration after a specified mediation period.Braley-Rattai writes:Those arguing Bill C-89 is unconstitutional refer to the fact that postal service is not “essential.” They also cite a 2016 court ruling in which a similar bill (C-6) introduced by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2011 was deemed unconstitutional.While both of these facts are relevant, neither determines whether the present bill is unconstitutional.Essential servicesFederal Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu claims the postal service is “essential” and the rotating strikes were harming small and medium-sized enterprises.Under international labour law, “essential services” are defined narrowly. Previous attempts to expand the definition of essential to include economic harm caused by a strike have been decisively rejected by the International Labour Organization’s Committee on Freedom of Association. And the Supreme Court of Canada has explicitly endorsed the restricted definition of “essential services” found under international labour law.When it comes to labour law, the term “essential” is a loaded one. And it isn’t obvious whether the minister intends for the term to be understood in its legal, or some other, sense. And maybe it doesn’t matter.Continue reading the full article here.
“No agreement is perfect, but this document will help Libya move beyond the chaos and toward the creation of a stable and democratic state with a clear legal framework,” Mr. Ban said at the high-level meeting on Libya, held on the margins of the General Assembly’s general debate.“As we work to ensure that this text is accepted by the Libyans, let us be clear: All those who choose to remain outside this framework will be responsible for the consequences and suffering that will ensue.”Libya has been plagued by factional fighting since the 2011 revolution, with the situation continuing to deteriorate in recent months amid significant political fragmentation and violence. “The violence of the past year and a half is leading Libya down a path of death, displacement and destruction,” said Mr. Ban. “Terrorist movements are gaining a strategic foothold. The country has become a haven for criminals and human smugglers. Millions are in need of humanitarian assistance.“Sadly, this is largely the result of rival groups who insist on putting petty concerns above those of the Libyan people. They are denying their country a future and have made Libya a base of instability, and a threat to regional and international security,” he stated. “There is a better path, one that answers the Libyan people’s demands for peace, human rights, stability and a better future.” Last month, the parties – meeting in Morocco under the facilitation of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Bernardino León – reached consensus on the main elements of a political agreement aimed at resolving the ongoing crisis.Mr. Ban said that thanks to “some brave Libyan leaders,” Libya has a clear way forward, through a political agreement that seeks to fulfil the vision of the revolution that inspired so much hope just four years ago. “Now the time for reopening the text has passed,” he stressed. “For the first time since the revolution of 2011, Libyans have before them a negotiated, inclusive and workable political roadmap for the remainder of the political transition process.” The international community stands united with the Libyan people in their efforts to choose peace over violence and stability over chaos, said Mr. Ban. “You, in turn, must reject violence and conclude the dialogue without delay… There is no time to lose.”