Home Workplace Legislation/Press Releases Manitoba’s proposed changes on replacement workers, card check certification applauded by Canadian Labour Congress

Manitoba’s proposed changes on replacement workers, card check certification applauded by Canadian Labour Congress

by HR Law Canada

The Manitoba government’s proposed new legislation aimed at bolstering workers’ rights within the province is being applauded by unions.

The introduction of laws to prohibit the use of replacement workers during strikes and the reinstatement of card check certification are key components, according to a press release issued by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

Premier Wab Kinew’s administration has been applauded for prioritizing the welfare of working families and striving to bring balance and fairness back to the negotiation table.

“It’s a great day for workers in Manitoba,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Premier Kinew’s commitment to workers is evident in the enactment of vital legislation to support them.”

The new legislation is seen as a major step forward in protecting the rights of workers, particularly during labour disputes where the use of so-called ‘scab’ labour can undermine the efforts of striking workers and exacerbate tensions, the CLC said. This move is expected to mitigate conflict and promote a safer and more equitable environment for workers, it said.

Bruske further stated, “Workers everywhere should be able to exercise their right to strike without worrying about the threat of scab labour.” She urged leaders across Canada to emulate Manitoba’s approach and outlaw the use of replacement workers in their regions.

Additionally, the return to automatic certification is anticipated to empower workers and enhance their rights significantly. This system, which was commonplace prior to the 1990s, simplifies the process of unionization, thereby potentially reversing the decline in union membership rates witnessed over recent decades.

“Signing a union card is the best way for workers to improve their working lives,” Bruske remarked, underscoring the importance of collective bargaining and union membership in securing stable and favourable conditions for workers.

The reinstatement of card check certification removes barriers that workers face during the unionization process, making it a straightforward and transparent procedure. Bruske highlighted, “By eliminating this unnecessary barrier and returning to automatic certification, governments can uphold the integrity of workers’ rights to collective bargaining and ensure a fair and transparent process.”

This reform by the Manitoba government is hailed as a crucial development in supporting and protecting the labour force, potentially setting a precedent for other provinces and territories in Canada.

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