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June 6th, 2013

C-525: PMO using Senate scandal as a smokescreen to rig union elections

OTTAWA – Conservatives are once again attacking worker rights by trying to introduce a certification process that would make it almost impossible for workers to form a union – all of this while Canadians are focused on the scandals plaguing the embattled Senate.

“C-525 is another attack on Canadian workers and their unions in an effort to drive down wages for the middle-class,” said NDP Labour critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont--La Petite-Patrie).

“Just like they did with C-377, Conservatives are again using backbenchers to introduce reckless anti-union legislation that comes straight from the Republican playbook in the United States.”

Bill C-525 would make the union certification process for federally-regulated workplaces the worst across the country, at a time when other jurisdictions – like the Conservative government in Newfoundland-Labrador – are actually expanding access to collective bargaining. Amongst other changes, C-525 will essentially allow all non-voters in a certification election to count as having voted against the union. If turnout in a union election was similar to the 2011 federal election, only one out of five voters would need to vote no the unionization attempt to fail.

“Instead of trying to rig union elections and drive down the wages of Canadians, the Conservatives should be focusing their energy on preventing attempts to rig federal elections and making senators accountable for the public”, concluded Boulerice.