Historic moves – IAM and other unions applaud anti-scab proposal

GVP Dave Chartrand at Anti-Scab press conference

27 October, 2022

Ottawa, ON – The IAM strongly supports the NDP initiative led by Alexandre Boulerice, a bill that if passed, would prevent the use of replacement workers, or anti-scab legislation. The legislation would affect workplaces in the federal jurisdiction.

Preventing use of replacement workers ensures that unions can effectively negotiate fair collective agreements. But, it’s not just workers that benefit, labour relations are improved as a result, while the duration and frequency of strikes is reduced. If this bill becomes law, it would mark a historic moment for workers in Canada, and a major step forward in labour law.

Canadian unions have fought for decades for this legislation, with success at the provincial level in Quebec and British Columbia. The confidence and supply agreement in place between the Liberals and the NDP has been critical in the NDP successfully advocating for this legislation. This is another testament to the benefit of these arrangements in minority governments, which historically, have given workers the best chance of addressing issues that matter to us.

“This is one of the foundational principles of the labour movement,” said David Chartrand, IAM Canadian General Vice-President. “Getting rid of replacement workers allows unions to be better placed to use all of the tools at our disposal to negotiate fair contracts for our members. When employers make workers fight each other, it’s only the boss who wins,” said Chartrand. “The IAM has always believed in free and fair collective bargaining and we believe this will go a long way to accomplish that,”

“Without the threat of scabs taking workers’ jobs or imposing back-to-work legislation – workers can be assured their jobs are not at risk,” said Derek Ferguson, Grand Lodge Representative responsible for Political Action. “While the consultation period is short, the IAM will be active in this consultation process and will make sure our members are aware and present throughout.”

“Today’s announcement is encouraging, but we’re cautions. Time is of the essence and that legislation must come into effect as soon as possible, but we also urge the government to adopt strong language that protects fair collective bargaining. If the Liberals truly intend on tipping the balance of fairness in the interest of workers, they must act quickly. We’ve waited 150 years for this, we cannot wait any longer,” said David Chartrand in closing.

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For more information:
Frank Saptel
IAM Canada Communications
(416) 579-0481

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