Canada's Supreme Court Rules Secondary Picketing & Leafleting Legal
From a United Food & Commercial Workers press release, 9 September 1999
The Supreme Court today ruled in favour of appeals by two UFCW Local Unions, saying that lower court rulings against secondary picketing and leafleting in their respective jurisdictions were violations of workers' constitutional rights.
The ruling by the top court is based in part on decisions in British Columbia and New Brunswick, both involving distribution of information by striking UFCW members to consumers at locations other than the struck workplace. The Supreme Court has struck down a part of the labour law in British Columbia as unconstitutional, and likewise quashed an earlier court order in New Brunswick.
In both cases, the Supreme Court says, the constitutional right of the UFCW members involved to communicate the issues surrounding their disputes overrode the regulations used to silence them. "It is clear that workers everywhere will gain from this ruling," Kukovica says. "The fundamental right of all Canadians to communicate freely is substantially reinforced, and the rights of working people are demonstrably strengthened."
REF: 26209, UFCW Local 1518 v. Kmart Canada Ltd. et al.; 26203, UFCW Local 1288P v. Allsco Building Products Ltd., et al.