Canada’s unions reinforce strong opposition to any attempt to force federal public service workers back to work

April 19, 2023

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions reiterate their strong opposition to any attempt by the federal government to introduce back-to-work legislation against federal public sector workers who are members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and are currently on strike.

In a letter addressed to Treasury Board President, Mona Fortier—CLC President, Bea Bruske, warned the government that back-to-work legislation would be a misstep that would only worsen the current dispute and would be met with strong resistance from the entire labour movement.    

“Let us be very clear: we are in total disagreement with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s push for back-to-work legislation,” said Bruske. “It is wrong of them to ask the government to violate these workers’ rights and to misrepresent PSAC’s demands.”  

For Canadians and small businesses to have the services they rely on, we need a strong public service. If the right to strike is weakened by the government legislating federal workers back to work, it will have a significant impact on every Canadian who expects to have their rights protected by their government.  

Bruske added: “Collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental rights. They are central to our democracy. The best and only way to ensure continued high-quality public services for Canada’s small businesses is for the government to negotiate a fair deal.” 

The deal these federal employees are currently being offered is, in reality, a pay cut. It does not go far enough to help workers make ends meet, and it is not going to attract the talent we need today and into the future to support Canadians and our country’s small businesses.   

You can see the full letter to Minister Fortier here.


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