Home Workplace News Anti-scab legislation increases likelihood of strikes, warns CFIB

Anti-scab legislation increases likelihood of strikes, warns CFIB

by HR News Canada

The Senate’s recent approval of anti-scab legislation has sparked concern among small business representatives, particularly the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The bill, which limits the use of replacement workers during strikes or lockouts in federally regulated workplaces, is seen by the CFIB as a move that empowers unions and increases the likelihood of strikes.

The CFIB expressed its disappointment following the Senate’s third reading vote on Monday. According to the organization, the use of replacement workers, though infrequent, is a crucial strategy for employers to maintain key operations during strikes and to keep negotiations ongoing.

The CFIB argues that Canada’s labour laws already favour organized labour, and removing this option could have severe repercussions for upcoming negotiations between federally regulated employers and unions.

“Replacement workers are rarely used by employers in strikes or lockouts and can never replace large-scale operational units,” said Jasmin Guénette, vice-president of national affairs at CFIB. “But they can be used strategically to keep key functions going during a strike. It’s also one of the very few powers employers have to keep negotiations going.”

The CFIB said a significant majority of its members oppose the ban on replacement workers. The organization argues that work stoppages, particularly in essential services, pose a risk to the economy, impacting small businesses, their employees, and the communities they serve.

“Every time work stoppages shut down essential services, they put our economy further at risk at the expense of small businesses, their employees, and the people they serve,” Guénette said. “Unfortunately, Members of Parliament have shown that catering to unions at this time is more politically advantageous than doing the right thing for small businesses and the economy.”

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