Anti-scab legislation unanimously passes through House of Commons

'We hope we can inspire provinces and territories to put in place similar legislation'

Anti-scab legislation unanimously passes through House of Commons

Canada’s “anti-scab workers” legislation has passed unanimously through the House of Commons.

Bill C-58 – An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012 – cleared its final vote in the House of Commons on Monday. It garnered 317 votes in support from all parties, and no opposing votes.

The bill aims to ban the use of replacement workers if there’s a strike in a federally regulated workplace.

“I think it is a real message to workers right across this country that they are valued and that parliamentarians have heard them, and that scab labour is wrong,” said Seamus O’Reagan, minister of labour, after the bill’s passage, according to a CTV News report.

“So, this is a big moment for workers in this country. It’s a big moment for labour. And we’re thrilled that it passed unanimously.”

The legislation was first introduced on Nov. 9, 2023. It passed second reading with all-party support, noted the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NSNDP). The House of Commons bill is now awaiting first reading in the Senate.

Will Canada’s provinces ban scab workers?

“We hope that not only will we make sure this is banned at the federal level, but we can inspire provinces and territories to put in place similar legislation so that we can, once and for all, ban scab workers at every level across this country,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said ahead of question period Monday, according to the CTV News report.

“That’s our ultimate goal.”

In March, the NSNDP tabled legislation to ban the use of scab workers in Nova Scotia during a legal workers’ strike or lockout.

Meanwhile, British Columbia and Quebec already have similar legislation that bans the use of scabs during a strike.

O’Reagan said that he has spoken with the other provinces and territories about anti-scab legislation, but he isn’t putting pressure on them.

“You’re better to lead by example than necessarily hectoring provinces and territories. Best to show them that this works. And in fact, in B.C. and Quebec, it does work. So, we’ve learned an awful lot from those jurisdictions and it’s informed how we will go about this,” O’Reagan said.

Recently, Unifor noted that Waste Management Canada’s (WM) use of scab workers is leading to an unsafe work environment for the workers themselves.

Recent articles & video

3 unions team up to intervene in appeal of province’s pronoun law

Province seeks public feedback on accessible employment standard regulation

Privilege in workplace Investigations

Ottawa invests $370 million for over 200 youth employment projects

Most Read Articles

SHRM removes ‘equity’ from DEI program ‘to address flaws’

$500-million severance lawsuit against Musk dismissed: reports

Federal government consultant charged for $250,000 timesheet fraud