Canadian Manufacturing

Ottawa tables bill to ban replacement workers in federally regulated sectors

by CM staff   

Manufacturing Infrastructure Bill C-58 Canada Labour Code equipment manufacturers service providers


Bill C-58 would impair service providers' ability to maintain and repair critical network infrastructure should service-impacting events occur during labour disputes.

OTTAWA —  Bill C-58, tabled in the House of Commons, would prohibit the use of replacement workers in federally regulated industries, including service providers, equipment manufacturers, and other organizations in the telecommunications ecosystem.

Evidence has shown that a prohibition on the use of temporary replacements workers result in more regular disruptions of critical services, longer and more frequent strikes, an increasingly confrontational labour relations environment, and an increased use of back-to-work legislation.

“It is illogical for the government to, on one hand, take extensive and detailed steps under its Telecommunications Reliability Agenda to ensure the reliability and resiliency of Canada’s telecommunications networks while concurrently proposing a ban on the use of replacement workers that would effectively impair the operations of telecommunication networks,” said Canadian Telecommunications Association President and CEO Robert Ghiz. “This is even more confounding when such a ban would disrupt the long-standing balance of bargaining power between employers and employees that has been effective in ensuring well-functioning relationships in unionized federally regulated work settings.”

The Canadian Telecommunications Association is calling on the Government to forego this legislation that could put Canadians and their financial wellbeing at risk.

The current legal framework applicable to replacement workers under the Canada Labour Code is based on tripartite discussions (labour, employers and Government) and achieves appropriate balance, as follows:

  • Workers have the right to engage in legal strikes.
  • Employers may use replacement workers temporarily during a strike.
  • Striking employees may be entitled to get their jobs back after the strike ends.
  • Employers are prohibited from using replacement workers to undermine unions.

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