Home Workplace News Unifor calls for all-party support in Nova Scotia of opposition NDP bill that would ban use of replacement workers

Unifor calls for all-party support in Nova Scotia of opposition NDP bill that would ban use of replacement workers

by HR Law Canada

Unifor is calling for all political parties in Nova Scotia to lineup behind legislation from the NDP that would amend the Trade Union Act and ban the use of replacement workers — also known as “scabs.”

“Anti-scab legislation is about leveling the playing field and upholding workers’ Constitutional rights,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Unifor is calling on Premier Tim Houston and every sitting MLA to vote to support amendments to the Trade Union Act to protect striking workers so situations like the one at CN Autoport can’t happen again.”

Nova Scotia currently has a majority government led by Premier Tim Houston of the Progressive Conservatives.

Rally outside legislature

Unifor members rallied outside the Nova Scotia Legislature this morning, alongside members from other unions, to call for all-party support for the NDP legislation. Workers from CN Autoport also sat in the gallery to witness the bill’s presentation and to be recognized in the House.

The 239 workers at CN Autoport, a wholly-owned and provincially regulated subsidiary of CN Rail in Eastern Passage, N.S., went on strike on Feb. 27, 2024. Within hours, according to Unifor, the employer had replacement workers on-site doing the union members’ jobs.

“The use of scabs puts the safety of every individual in the workplace and on the picket line in jeopardy and removes the incentive for the company to return to the bargaining table, which is the ultimate goal of a strike,” said Atlantic Regional Director Jennifer Murray. “No one wins when a strike is prolonged or when untrained, ill-equipped and often poorly paid workers are suddenly thrown into a workplace.”

Federal legislation progressing

Bill C-58, the federal anti-scab legislation, made its way through its second reading in the House of Commons with all-party support on the same day the CN Autoport strike began. British Columbia and Quebec already have protections for workers against the use of scab labour, according to Unifor.

“Unifor is advocating for every jurisdiction across Canada to pass anti-scab legislation to restore workers’ Constitutionally-protected right to strike,” it said in a press release.

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