Supreme Court rules on essential services
Saskatchewan law limits ability of public sector workers to go on strike
No one likes it when nurses go on strike or snow plough drivers decide to walk off the job. However, are they essential enough for the government to prohibit them from striking?
That's what the Supreme Court will decide later this morning, when it rules on the Saskatchewan government's Public Service Essential Services Act. The law was passed in 2008 and it sets out a process where some workers can be declared essential and banned from going on strike.
Dionne Pohler, a labour analyst at the University of Saskatchewan said however the court rules, it will be a landmark decision. She stated it could change labour relations significantly.
"A union that doesn't have the right to strike has little power," she said.
"Most unions never use that right," Pohler explained. "Their most effective tool is the threat to strike."