Cablegate: Newfoundland - Labrador Labor Vows to Make Premier "One-Term

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Organized labor groups in Newfoundland-Labrador are
threatening to get even with Conservative Premier Danny Williams
for his government's passage of controversial labor legislation.
The Williams government used its overwhelming majority in the
House of Assembly on May 4 to pass Bill 18 which imposes a new
contract on 20,000 public sector workers who were on strike for
four weeks in April (reftel). The legislation imposes a
four-year contract that cuts sick leave benefits for new public
sector employees and freezes wages for the next two years.
Workers will get a five percent raise in the final two years of
the deal.

2. Officials of the two unions which represent the workers and
other provincial labor officials condemned the legislation,
accusing the Premier of setting labor relations back 20 years.
Some have even gone as far as ordering specialized car license
plates with the inscription "One Term Danny" to reflect their
vow to defeat the Williams government come the next provincial
election. Since Williams just won election last October, his
detractors could be waiting a long time to show their
disapproval at the ballot box. In the meantime, it appears
certain that Williams has lost any chance of a cooperative
relationship with the province's labor groups if he was looking
to them for help in stabilizing the province's fiscal situation.


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