The truth hurts, Mr. Speaker.
As regards table 2, those providing support or operating services, there was no majority report, because there are three different positions. There was no real bargaining. The spirit in these reports and in these facts is not a spirit conducive to agreements.
There are balances of power in the public sector and in the private sector. They must exist, in fact, because, if one party completely dominates the other in negotiations, the results will never be fair. That occurs in private life. That occurs among people. There must be a balance somewhere.
These workers took the means at their disposal, not illegal, but legal means. They did not take them excessively, even if a full general strike is not excessive, but in this case they did not go out on a general strike. It is a rotating strike. They used the means at their disposal under the law.
This then is why we have this bill, with a time limit. It is a total shame for this House, for which this is definitely not a first, for this House, which has seen the arrogance of this government in other matters, arrogance often in dealings with the provinces. This is the approach where the government says it knows what is good for others and it does it in their stead or, to coin a phrase, it knows what is ours and makes sure it will get it.
The best additional proof is that the hands of the government in this matter are not clean. It is including in the bill workers who have announced they would strike, that is, the federal corrections officers. That is something. Here we have a bill allegedly to correct something excessive, which makes no sense because, as I said earlier, this is a legal strike, but some people are not yet on strike and are being forced to go back to work before they have struck.
What is affected by this way of doing things is the bargaining process itself. But, more importantly, it is the relationship between the state, which is the employer, and its workers, to whom it is sending a message of contempt.
The federal government thinks this is the way to get the loyalty and services to which citizens are entitled. It did not look any further than its nose. The workers appear to want justice, since they have not had a raise in six years and some of them are paid based on the region where they work, which is not the case for other people around them. These workers are at their wits' end. They are resorting to legal means, not in an excessive fashion, and yet they are being forced to go back to work.
This is poor judgment on the government's part and it does not augur well for the years to come. I used to teach labour relations. Experts know that when there is real and deep dissatisfaction, it is always better that workers not necessarily always get everything they want, but that there be a negotiated settlement. Otherwise, they will not feel any incentive to work, to be helpful. This is true both in the private and the public sectors. Nowadays, the government can do better than this mess.
Again, I deeply regret that we are being put in this situation, since everything tends to give workers the impression that they are not being treated fairly, far from it, and that in fact the government only has contempt for them.