TORONTO – The United Steelworkers (USW) congratulates the New Democratic Party for tabling legislation to modernize collective bargaining in Canada and stop the use of replacement workers in labour disputes.
“The Steelworkers union welcomes these changes to the Canada Labour Code. If passed, this law will stop the unfairness of employers using replacement workers during strikes and lockouts. Thanks to the NDP for once again introducing this bill that will benefit workers and employers and contribute to our nation’s productivity,” said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.
“While some in the business community will spread false rumours about these changes, the NDP has not wavered. We know this law will make a difference, and we thank leader Tom Mulcair and NDP Deputy Labour Critic Karine Trudel for making modernizing the Canada Labour Code a priority.”
Experience in Ontario in the 1990s, in Quebec since 1977 and B.C. since 1993, where similar legislation was enacted, prove that laws banning replacement workers lead to fewer, shorter and less violent work disruptions.
Returning to work following strikes and lockouts is difficult enough for workers. When employers use replacement workers to continue production during the dispute, the workplace becomes toxic and it takes a long time to return to normal.
Steelworkers are all-too-familiar with the feelings of anger and betrayal our members experience. USW Local 9176 members were on the picket line for 22 months, a dispute that was prolonged by multinational Crown Holdings’ use of replacement workers.
“We are pleased that two elected Steelworkers on Parliament Hill – Erin Weir and Scott Duvall – will be working hard on behalf of families across the country to secure support for this important bill,” Neumann said.
“We know we can count on the NDP to push this issue forward to better protect workers,” said Neumann.
“The Liberals are in a position to do something. It will be an important test, how they vote, now that they have the power to make law,” NDP MP Erin Weir (Regina–Lewvan) said in an interview on the issue of anti-scab legislation.
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434 2221, firstname.lastname@example.org