MGEU’s National Union recognized with 2021 Canadian Freedom of Association Award
May 28, 2021
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and its President, Larry Brown, are among the joint winners of the 2021 Canadian Freedom of Association Award. The recipients are recognized for being instrumental in Canada's 2017 ratification of ILO Convention C98.
Recognizing role in ILO Convention ratification
In June 2017, Canada ratified the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98). This step was particularly significant because it marked Canada’s ratification of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) 8 fundamental conventions.
According to the CIRA-ACRI, "the 2021 Canadian Freedom of Association Award is therefore attributed to the individuals and organizations who played a key role in this ratification."
"The decision to ratify this convention was a long process involving many individuals, organizations and governments," the announcement continues. "Given the tripartite nature of the ILO and Canada’s participation in it, we believe that it is especially important to recognize the tripartite contributions to this ratification. Moreover, while there were many individuals involved in the organizational work to make this happen, we believe that it is also important to recognize the individuals who played a particular leadership role in the ratification of this core convention."
- Anthony Giles and the International and Intergovernmental Affairs Directorate, Labour Program, Employment and Social Development Canada
- Brian Burkett and the Canadian Employers’ Council
- Hassan Yussuff and the Canadian Labour Congress
- Larry Brown and the National Union of Public and General Employees
According to CIRA-ACRI, "of a common accord, the International and Intergovernmental Affairs Directorate did the heavy lifting, strategically and practically, over a decade. Likewise, the Canadian Employers’ Council and the Canadian Labour Congress were essential in this process. It is also necessary to recognize the particular role of the National Union of Public and General Employees, which was far out front in making this ratification a priority question of ongoing concern."
Highlighting leadership of individuals
While the award recognizes organizations, the Nominations Committee also wished to highlight the individuals who demonstrated leadership. According to the announcement, "each of these individuals epitomizes the values of social dialogue and international labour cooperation and has demonstrated a strong belief in the importance of international norms like those formulated in the ILO Conventions and a tangible commitment to pursuing those norms in Canada."
Similarly, each recipient has recognized the key contributions of their colleagues and teams. Larry Brown and NUPGE wish to highlight the seminal work of James Clancy (retired NUPGE president), Derek Fudge (retired NUPGE director of public policy and development) and Carol Meyer (retired NUPGE managing director).
The 2021 Canadian Freedom of Association Award was announced at CIRA-ACRI's annual conference on May 27, 2021. In September 2021, CIRA-ACRI will be organizing an award ceremony and webinar around the ratification of ILO Convention C98.
Congratulations to all of the recipients of this year's award! You can read the full announcement on the CRIA-ACRI website.