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  • Photograph by Gwenael Piaser

Good work = Good health

Last week, a major victory was won for worker's rights in a precedent setting decision handed down by the Supreme Court. The ruling determined that the Saskatchewan's Public Service Essential Service Act (Bill 5) is unconstitutional because it violates workers’ rights as laid out in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Without adequate income, employment and safe working conditions, people cannot live full and healthy lives. Income may well be the most important determinant of health because it has such an enormous effect on one's overall living conditions (diet, housing, access to education). Likewise, most Canadians spend more of their day working than at home & imbalances between demands (time pressures, responsibilities) and reward (respect from superiors, salary) have been shown to lead to significant health problems.

Without adequate income, employment and safe working conditions, people cannot live full and healthy lives

The right to strike ensures workers can form unions and collectively bargain for FAIR wages and SAFE working conditions. “Saskatchewan’s Labour Movement has always fought for the rights of working people, protected the public during labour disputes, and ensured that job action is a last resort,” said SFL president Larry Hubich, “however, the recognition of the right to strike is necessary to restore the balance between workers and employers,” he added.

Heartfelt congratulations to the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and their affiliates for this win - one a very long time in the making!

More on this theme:

Labour Unions are Good Medicine - From the Tom Sandborn at The Tyee, "How do labour unions make us healthier? Simply put, inequality makes us sick, and it turns out that organized labour is a good antidote."

The Broadbent Institute's report - Union Communities, Health Communities

 

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