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Labour board flags ‘irregularities,’ low turnout in public service strike vote

April 21, 2023
The Canadian Press

(Getty Images)

The federal labour board has found low turnout and irregularities of significant concern with the strike vote that led more than 100,000 public servants to walk off the job this week.

The board found in a decision posted Thursday that the Public Service Alliance of Canada failed to properly let members know it had shortened the voting period by eight days, moving the deadline from April 19 to April 11.

Only about 35 per cent of members of the bargaining unit actually cast a ballot, and 80 per cent of them were in favour of a strike mandate.

Union president Chris Aylward hasn’t previously revealed how many members were in favour of a strike mandate, except to say that it was an “overwhelming majority.”

The decision arose from a complaint by a public servant who asked the board to overturn the result of the vote when he was unable to cast his ballot.

The board decided against granting that request because it’s unlikely there would have been a different result, even if the union had been more forthcoming with its members.

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