VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – As Ottawa preps to legislate an end to the CP Rail strike and BCGEU workers resume their bargaining talks, one UVic Labour Relations professor says it is like we have lost the right to strike.

John Fryer says public opinion about unions has changed, “The mood in Canada has shifted over the last two or three decades to a fairly hostile one towards unions. Politicians feel their best chance for being reelected is to take that public opinion anti-union consensus, and implement it.”

He claims that hostility is translating into political and ideological decisions by government. “We have governments that don’t like unions. We have governments that feel their base is reinforced if they treat unions badly and harshly.”

The worst part, he says, is that Canada has signed international agreements acknowledging that workers have the right to strike and when the government bans them with the stroke of a pen, they are going against that commitment.

Fryer adds that has the government siding with employers rather than all those workers in this country.