“Justin, nice hair, Justin, nice hair.”
Around 40 people chanted Saturday morning as part of the Solidarity with Postal Workers and Right to Strike protest, held at Parkinson Recreation Centre.
Earlier this week, the Senate passed a back-to-work bill, forcing an end to five weeks of rotating strikes by postal employees across Canada. Protests were held across the country.
“It’s important for people to be here because last week in Ottawa we witnessed the government legislature take away Charter rights. And if they can do that in a weekend to 50,000 people, what can they do in a weekend to you next?” said Matthew Aiken, president with Kelowna CUPW.
“When we get our Charter rights taken away, that’s a serious issue for every Canadian not just working people and not just for Canadian postal members because they don’t have a good contract with their employer right now,” he said.
He doesn’t think the government will revoke the legislation but wants to raise awareness about the issue with the protest.
“I didn’t always agree with my father, but if he had drafted the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I would try to respect that legacy,” Aiken said.
Christopher Luciow attended the protest, and said he’s not affiliated with any union, but “believes in fair practices in all markets of labour.”
“I think for a prime minister who is heavily politically correct, who stands for people’s rights; he’s helped refugees, he stands for the LGBTQ community, he’s basically set a dangerous precedent for private companies to sue unions out of power. It violates their rights, as workers, as individuals and Canadians,” he said.
He wants to be another voice in the protest.
“Talking to your community does a whole lot more (than social media.) With their rights being threatened like this, with them being forced back work, that’s wrong,” he said.
Kelly Hutchinson was another protestor who is also a casino worker and part of BCGEU.
“An attack on one person’s rights is an attack on them all,” he said. “We need to be vigilant in stuff like this because it matters. It could be freedom of speech next.”
“It’s a slippery slope when you start deeming (they’re) essential when they’re not really.”
After a few speeches from other local unions and residents, protestors carried their flags across “Protest Bridge” and waved to passing cars.