Mark Hancock with Alexandre Boulerice and Larry RousseauCUPE’s National President Mark Hancock joined NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice and other labour leaders on Parliament Hill today to support the introduction of Bill C-302 Boulerice’s newly-tabled anti-scab legislation.

During labour disputes, employers often hire new workers to replace those who are on strike or locked out. Known as “replacement workers” or “scab labour”, this practice undermines workers’ rights to take strike action, their ability to negotiate fairly, and damages labour relations in the long-term. Boulerice’s bill would ban the use of scabs during both lockouts and strikes.

Bill C-302 sets out the NDP’s legislative vision to fix this longstanding labour relations imbalance. The Liberal government has recently launched consultations on the topic, with a commitment to introduce federal anti-scab legislation in the new year. The NDP’s bill sets a standard to which any similar legislation will be held.

“This bill from Alexandre and the NDP is a critical step to restoring some balance to the equation, and giving workers a fighting chance at the bargaining table. Workers in Canada have been asking for this legislation for decades,” said Hancock alongside Boulerice on Parliament Hill this morning. “Our message to the Liberals is simple: this is the legislation that working people in Canada want, need and deserve, and we urge the government to adopt this bill without delay.”

Bill C-302 would protect workers regardless of whether they are on-site or working remotely, reflecting the evolving reality of work and the rising use of virtual replacement workers.

“For years, New Democrats have tried to ban replacement workers for good, but corporate conservatives and establishment Liberals stopped us every time,” said Boulerice. “Anti-scab legislation is essential to give workers a better chance to a fairer deal when they are fighting for better work conditions. New Democrats know whose side we’re on. We’ll always have workers’ backs.”

The struggle for anti-scab legislation that protects workers’ right to fair collective bargaining has spanned generations. The Liberals and Conservatives teamed up to defeat the NDP’s last attempt at passing similar legislation in 2016, but the supply-and-confidence agreement between the Liberals and NDP, commits the federal government to implementing anti-scab legislation before the end of 2023.