Thursday, April 09, 2009

You have the right to remain silent... or maybe you could join the union

Throughout its history the RCMP's upper management has been reticent to allow the rank and file membership to unionize, preferring instead to work with the "staff association" format of labour relations and clinging to the sections of the RCMP Act that stymied the past unionization bids as their guideline over the years.

However, that is all about to change it seems after an Ontario court struck down that controversial section of the RCMP Act, delivering a ruling that states that the portion of the Act that disallows the quest for unionization is unconstitutional.

It doesn't necessarily mean that your local Mountie will be signing off on union cards over traffic tickets over the short term however, as the Federal Government has been granted an eighteen month window to consider an appropriate response to the ruling.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian MacDonnell, described the current application in place to resolve the issues of employee/employer relations as an "entity created by management to avoid unionization."

Should the Mounties eventually gather enough votes and signed cards to form a union, one of the normal methods of labour relations won't be available to them, as most police organizations have surrendered the right to strike. No doubt making for one of the less militant of unions in the nation.

But one imagines that there certainly will be change on the way should the rank and file all begin to sing from the same song sheet,

From this....

To this...

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