Federal anti-scab legislation passes second reading

black and white image of woman holding a picket sign

February 28 2024

On February 27, 2023, federal legislation restricting the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout passes in the House of Commons at second reading.

The Liberals had promised to introduce this legislation during the last election, and it became a critical part of the Supply and Confidence Agreement between the NDP and the government.

“We have made the point time and again of how destructive using replacement workers is to the process of negotiation. The Supreme Court of Canada has already stated that the right to organize and bargain without interference is a protected right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Anti-scab legislation is critical to those rights,” said Bert Blundon, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)

Blundon added that the legislation protects the integrity of collective bargaining by ensuring an open and transparent process. “The use of replacement workers allowed labour disputes to drag on, increased divisiveness on the picket line and in the workplace, and threatened workers’ health and safety. A ban would allow parties to focus on negotiating a fair agreement.

It is our hope that this legislation passes without delay,” he said.