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Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.96.980515180011.26590D-100000@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 18:07:33 -0400
Reply-To: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Roy Adams <adamsr@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA>
Subject: human rights violation in Ontario

Human rights violation in Ontario

By Roy J. Adams, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights in Employment (SPHRE), 15 May 1998

The Government of Ontario is in the midst of committing a violation of international human rights norms of the most egregious sort. On Thursday, May 14, 1998, it introduced into the legislature a "An Act to Prevent Unionization" of workfare participants. The Act does not simply remove workfare people from the coverage of the Ontario Labour Relations Act, it says specifically that "no person shall do any of the following with respect to his or her participation in a community participation activity:
1. Join a trade union
2. Have the terms and conditions under which he or she participates determined through collective bargaining.
3. Strike"

This Act puts the Ontario government into a very small group of outlaw governments that openly, explicity and blatantly forbid Freedom of Association. Many governments make it difficult for workers to associate in practice, but given the rock solid global consensus supported by organizations from across the political spectrum that Freedom of Assn is a fundamental human right, almost none outrightly forbid it. The Act, if passed, almost certainly will be struck down since it obviously offends Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms but that will take some time. In the meantime this action is a direct thrust against the corpus of human rights standards and each day that it stands unchallenged is a threat to the entire structure of human rights and thus to democracy itself. Please protest loudly.

Roy J. Adams
Chair, Steering Committee, Society for the Promotion of Human Rights in Employment (SPHRE)

A message of protest may be sent to Mike Harris, premier of Ontario via the Ontario Government's Web Page at:


For more info on SPHRE see: http://www.mtsu.edu/~rlhannah/sphre.html

Roy J. Adams
McMaster University

tel: 905-525-9140, ext 23965 Hamilton, Canada
fax: 905-521-8995
L8S 4M4
email: adamsr@mcmaster.ca
web: http://www.business.mcmaster.ca/hrlr/profs/adamsr/index.htm