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Canadian court curbs air controller strikes

A precedent-setting court decision here has severely limited the right to strike for air traffic controllers and sent shock waves through the Canadian labor movement, Monitor contributor Jim Travers reports.

A federal appeals court ruled that the government can deny the right to strike to all air traffic controllers by classifying them as essential to public safety.

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That directly affects current contract talks between the controllers and the federal government - but it's the long-term effect of the ruling that is worrying 250,000 unionized public service workers.

After struggling through a series of long postal strikes, Ottawa now feels the time is right to get tough with Canadian unions.

But the Canadian Air Traffic Controllers Association will try to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.