BY HUGH WAGNER, GSU GENERAL SECRETARY
Recent conversations with members of Local 1 (Viterra Operations & Maintenance) and a recent workplace incident have reinforced the importance of employees’ rights in relation to hours of work.
Employees who receive less than 24 hours’ notice that the start time or time-frame of their scheduled shift has changed should decline to change and report for work at their originally scheduled time.
The right to 24 hours’ notice is covered in section 173.1 of Part III of the Canada Labour Code which applied to GSU members in Locals 1 & 2 (Viterra), 4 (Grain Millers), and 14 (Richardson). The Code also provides that employers shall provide employees with their work schedules in writing at least 96 hours before the start of the employee’s first shift under the schedule.
Exceptions are provided for in the event of a threat to the life, health or safety of any person; threat of damage to or loss of property; or the threat of serious interference with the ordinary working of the employer’s industrial establishment.
Employees should be staffing their operations adequately and should not rely on employees constantly interrupting their plans, their family or private time or compromising health and safety on account of fatigue.
Questions? Comments? Contact your GSU staff rep.