Guest Commentary: Fair and Balanced Labour Relations

By the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour

Canada’s airline pilots do fantastic work across our country and around the world, helping travelers and cargo arrive safely at their destinations each and every day.

The Air Line Pilots Association, International knows that unions play an integral role in protecting the rights of workers, which in turn helps build a stronger middle class and a more prosperous economy. Our government knows this, too. As Canada’s minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, I am committed to fair and balanced labour relations. I am also focused on ensuring that Canadians can work in environments that are safe, healthy, and productive.

We were elected on a promise to restore fairness and balance in labour relations in this country. One of our first acts as government was introducing Bill C-4 (an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act, and the Income Tax Act), which restored fairness and balance to labour relations in Canada and repealed previous legislation that undermined and weakened labour rights.

We are also working on modernizing federal labour standards by updating the Canada Labour Code to ensure that federal labour standards keep pace with the changing nature of work. We have moved forward on implementing flexible work arrangements so that Canadians can better manage family and work responsibilities

Our government also remains committed to removing another major barrier to gender equality and the equal participation of women in the workforce: workplace harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. To help eliminate these unacceptable behaviours, we introduced Bill C-65 (an act to amend the Canada Labour Code [harassment and violence], the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1) to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place and to better support victims when they do. But we know that legislation alone cannot fix this problem and that it will take all of us working together to change a culture that allows these behaviours to go unchecked.

Finally, in the 2018 budget we introduced measures that will help address the gender wage gap. We are introducing proactive pay-equity legislation for the federally regulated private and public sectors to ensure that women and men receive the same pay for work of equal value. When Canadian women are paid equally for work of equal value, we all benefit.

By upholding fair and balanced labour relations, modernizing federal labour standards, eliminating harassment and violence in the workplace, and by closing the gender wage gap, we can continue growing our economy in a way that works for everyone.

I look forward to continuing to work with the Air Line Pilots Association, International to foster safer, healthier workplaces where all Canadians can thrive.

Get to Know Minister Hajdu

In 2015, the Honourable Patty Hajdu was elected Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North. In November 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed her to the cabinet where she served as the minister of Status of Women until January 2017. At that time, Hajdu was appointed the minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour.

Hajdu previously worked in the public-health sector, focusing on homelessness, youth development, and drug policy. Prior to her election, she oversaw the largest homeless shelter in Northwestern Ontario.

Hajdu is a staunch supporter for Thunder Bay–Superior North and all of Canada, advocating that a more inclusive country benefits everyone. As a Member of Parliament and the minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, she is focused on ensuring that every Canadian citizen has an opportunity to succeed.

This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Air Line Pilot.

Read the latest Air Line Pilot (PDF)