December 3, 2020
OTTAWA—Unifor is urging all members of parliament to support Canada’s workers and swiftly pass a private member’s bill introduced today by Scott Duvall, NDP MP for Hamilton Mountain, to ban employers in federally regulated sectors from hiring scabs during a legal strike or lockout.
“Any federal politician who claims to stand up for working people and their families, needs to back this private member’s bill,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Ending the use of scabs in federally regulated workplaces will go a long way to balancing the scales that are unfairly tipped in the employer’s favour.”
Unifor has long argued that scab labour only serves to prolong labour disputes, undermines the right of unionized workers to take strike action and removes any incentive for employers to negotiate fairly to end any strike or lockout.
“It’s just not good enough to talk about standing up for workers. Politicians from all parties need to get behind this bill now because the whole idea behind collective bargaining is to level the playing field between workers and employers and this legislation helps do that,” said Dias.
The Supreme Court of Canada has declared the right to strike a fundamental right protected by the Constitution – but the union believes that right is lost when an employer can hire replacement workers to steal another workers job.
Unifor is also calling on all provincial governments to enact similar legislation to ban scabs, just as British Columbia and Quebec have done.
Unifor also supports a second bill introduced by the NDP to protect retired workers by fixing federal bankruptcy laws so pension and health benefits are given the same consideration as banks, investors or parent companies during bankruptcy proceedings. It also includes much needed provisions to restrict companies from issuing dividends or share buy-backs when a pension plan is in a deficit.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future