Canada's NDP

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May 27th, 2024

New Democrats give workers more power with improved anti-scab legislation

OTTAWA—On Monday, anti-scab legislation successfully passed through the House of Commons following improvements made by the NDP at a parliamentary committee just weeks ago. The NDP succeeded in speeding up the implementation of the law from 18 months to 12 months so that workers are protected sooner. They also ensured that employees from another workplace, volunteers and students cannot be used as replacement workers to undermine bargaining rights.

For years, organized labour and the NDP have been advocating for this law; New Democrats have finally forced the Liberals to introduce anti-scab legislation for federally regulated industries to give workers more power in their fight for better wages and working conditions.

“Workers have been waiting a long time for this,” said Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “Under Liberal and Conservative governments, big bosses have used scabs during labour disputes to undermine workers’ rights to fight for better working conditions and the fairer wages they need to support their families. Shamefully, Liberals and Conservatives have refused to ban replacement workers for years but we finally got it done by working side by side with the labour movement. Now more than ever, workers need security, and more power to fight back against the big bosses. New Democrats always put the interests of workers first and today we’re one step closer to putting these protections in law.”

“Today marks another historic and significant victory for the labour movement,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Anti-Scab legislation is crucial for safeguarding workers and their right to strike. The use of scab labour not only undermines this right but also exacerbates labour disputes and heightens hostility on the picket lines. I've heard countless stories from workers who have faced direct confrontations during strikes, jeopardizing their safety and livelihoods. This must never happen.”

Nine anti-scab bills have been introduced by the New Democrats over the past 15 years. In 2016, when NDP anti-scab legislation finally came to a vote, 140 Liberals and 76 Conservatives voted to block it.

“Pierre Poilievre voted against anti-scab legislation eight times. His record clearly shows he’s on the side of big bosses, not the everyday Canadians working hard to earn a living,” said Singh. “New Democrats are focused on making life easier and more affordable for workers. We’ll keep standing shoulder-to-shoulder with labour unions to fight for hardworking Canadians to get ahead.”

“Working alongside the labour movement, the NDP’s decades-long advocacy for robust anti-scab legislation led to this critical legislation. Political leaders who support workers understand that banning scabs enhances fairness at the bargaining table and provides essential protections for workers,” added Bruske.