OTTAWA—Today, NDP Labour Critic, Alexandre Boulerice introduced an anti-scab bill that aims to ban the use of replacement workers in labour disputes. While the NDP already forced the Liberals to take an important step towards implementing anti-scab legislation in Canada, Boulerice’s bill outlines the NDP’s vision for the government to prohibit the use of replacement workers during lockouts and strikes, in the workplace or virtually.
“For years, New Democrats have tried to ban replacement workers for good, but corporate conservatives and establishment Liberals stopped us every time,” said Boulerice. “This did not stop us in continuing to fight for workers who deserve better wages and work conditions. With the rising cost of living and a probable recession ahead of us, workers need support to fight for their livelihood. New Democrats will always fight for workers.”
The reality is that scabs prolong strikes and lockouts and give the employer little incentive to reach a fair deal - and for years both Liberals and Conservatives refused to ban replacement workers during labour disputes. Over the past 15 years, New Democrats introduced anti-scab bills 8 times - most recently in 2019. And when the Liberals and Conservatives finally had the opportunity to vote on an NDP anti-scab legislation in 2016, 140 Liberals MPs and 76 Conservatives MPs teamed up to block our attempt to make things better for workers. Workers deserve better.
“New Democrats will always stand on the side of workers and their families, not the ultra-rich corporations that are only interested in lining their pockets on the backs of people,” said Boulerice. “Anti-scab legislation is essential to give workers a better chance to a fairer deal when they are fighting for better work conditions. New Democrats know who's side were on. We'll always have workers’ backs.”
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Quotes from validators
“This bill from Alexandre and the NDP is a critical step to restoring some balance to the equation, and giving workers a fighting chance at the bargaining table. Workers in Canada have been asking for this legislation for decades. Our message to the Liberals is simple: this is the legislation that working people in Canada want, need and deserve, and we urge the government to adopt this bill without delay.”
Mark Hancock, National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
“We were encouraged to see the NDP had secured a promise from the Liberals to move forward on government anti-scab legislation, but after watching them block it for years, we’re happy to support this bill and any law to finally stop scab workers in Canada. We just need to get this done.”
Marty Warren, National Director, United Steelworkers Union
“Canada’s unions are proud to be standing with the NDP as they introduced anti-scab legislation day. When a company uses scabs, they turn a routine, typically short-lived work stoppage into a drawn-out, destructive conflict. Anti-scab legislation will not only protect workers, but will also limit the chance of work stoppages becoming long, embittered, and costly for all sides. Banning replacement workers will limit the unnecessary destruction of economic potential, workplace morale, community cohesion, and individual lives. It makes sense for the well-being of everyone concerned. The government now has an excellent model for legislation in this Private Member’s Bill and Canada’s unions are eager to work with elected officials to make sure Canada has comprehensive legislation that protects workers and collective bargaining rights.”
Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Labour Congress
“Today marks a victory for unions and all working Canadians. The IAM stands in strong support of this new legislation, which has been a long time in the making. We know firsthand that this legislation will make all the difference in the world in ensuring workers have a fair chance at negotiating strong collective agreements, and avoiding lengthy strikes and lock-outs. We look forward to working with the federal government and being part of the process in determining next steps and accompanying regulations.“
David Chartrand, Canadian General Vice President, IAMAW