Media Advisory – Labour rights symposium draws Canadian and international experts to Ottawa

November 12, 2008

TORONTO - More than 150 Canadian and international guests are gathering in Ottawa next week to discuss how labour rights are a critical component of human rights, helping to protect and promote democracy as well as the social and economic well-being of citizens.

The international symposium Labour Rights are Human Rights was organized by four of Canada’s largest labour organizations:

  • National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
  • Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF)
  • Canadian Police Association (CPA)
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW)

The symposium will tackle six critical issues:

  • Private and Public Sector Unions: Why are we in this together?
  • The Role of Unions in Promoting Democracy and Economic Prosperity
  • The Attack on Workers’ Rights: Part of an international phenomenon
  • 2007 Supreme Court Decision Guaranteeing the Right to Collective Bargaining: What does it mean for the future of labour rights in Canada?
  • Canada and the International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • State of the Nation: Labour Rights are Human Rights in Canada 2008

Several notable Canadian and international experts will make presentations, including:

  • Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Labour and Worklife Program (LWP), Harvard University Law School
  • Fred Van Leeuwen, General Secretary, Education International
  • Mary Beth Maxwell, Executive Director, American Rights at Work
  • Judy Fudge, Professor, University of Victoria Law School
  • Paul Cavalluzzo, senior partner, Cavalluzzo, Hayes, Shilton, Mcintyre & Cornish
  • Patrick Carrier, former official, Freedom of Association Branch, International Labour Organization
  • Alan Spaulding, Director of Global Affairs, and President, Union Network International (UNI), Commerce section

There will also be a special presentation to the Honourable Ed Broadbent in recognition of his strong advocacy throughout his career of labour rights in Canada and around the world.

Media are invited to attend the symposium and advance interviews with presenters may also be arranged for interested media.

What: Labour Rights are Human Rights symposium
When: Wednesday, November 19, to Friday, November 21, 2008
Where: Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent St., downtown Ottawa

Note: At the closing of the symposium on Friday, Nov. 21, there will be a statement and activity to highlight the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on Dec. 10.

For further information:

Mike Luff, NUPGE, tel: 613-228-9800
Pierre Collin, CPA Communications Officer, tel: 613-231-4168,
mobile: 613-299-6516
Francine Filion, CTF Director of Communications, mobile: 613-899-4247