Queen's University

Air Canada strike

2011-09-27

George Smith, a fellow in the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies and labour relations expert, is available to discuss the pending Air Canada strike and the Conservative government’s plan to immediately legislate employees back to work.

Mr. Smith says the Conservative’s plan is bad news for businesses, not unions, because it will force two sides to go to binding arbitration.

“Canadian labour policy is changing without discussion or debate. It has all the appearance of the Conservatives doing what’s best for the country but really it’s a disaster,” says Mr. Smith. “Everyone thinks the quick back-to-work legislation is bad news for the unions. It’s actually very bad news for business. If you are negotiating a difficult labour contract, the process is being taken out of your hands and the government will do it for you. The ‘showdown’ element which hurts in the short run but results in a fair settlement is gone.”

Mr. Smith was a senior vice-president with CBC/Radio-Canada and former vice-president at CP Rail before joining Queen’s. He has extensive experience in labour relations and collective bargaining.

Attention broadcasters: please note George Smith is based in Ottawa.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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