Several hundred union members from across Canada rallied on Parliament Hill Friday to demand federal anti-scab legislation. The protest came just days before MPs will vote on a private members bill to eliminate replacement workers during strikes and lock-outs.
The architect of the bill, Bloc Qubcois MP Monique Guay, told over 300 demonstrators that the use of scabs causes conflicts on picket lines. She pointed out that her legislation would save workplaces and families from being needlessly torn apart, and would cost nothing.
Claude Gnreux, CUPEs national secretary-treasurer, confirmed her sentiments by talking about the year-long lock-out at Quebecs Videotron cable company, which affected 2,200 workers. It ended six months ago, but there are still enormous tensions between workers and the scabs who did their jobs.
The president of the Canadian Labour Congress, Ken Georgetti, reminded demonstrators that there are two provinces with anti-scab laws, Quebec and British Columbia, and that there has been less picket line violence as a result. (Videotron is federally-regulated, so the provincial law in Quebec didnt apply to its cable workers.)
All of the speakers pleaded with the union members on Parliament Hill to contact their MPs and tell them to vote for Guays anti-scab bill next Wednesday (the Bloc Qubcois and NDP have already pledged their support). You can contact your MP, and e-mail them a letter about this important legislation. Do it today, time is running out.