ontario news watch

Labour minister tables replacement-worker legislation promised in Liberal-NDP deal

OTTAWA — Replacement workers would be banned during strikes and lockouts at federally regulated workplaces under new legislation introduced in the House of Commons today.

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan says the bill will bar employers from hiring someone to do the work of anyone who is on strike or lockout, and will apply to multiple work sites including federal Crown corporations, airports, ports and the federal public service.

There are exceptions if not replacing workers would constitute a threat to health and safety, or could cause serious property or environmental damage.

The bill fulfils a promise the Liberals made in the 2021 election to ban the use of replacement workers if an employer locks its employees out. 

But it goes a step further to extend the ban to strikes, too, a major component of the Liberals’ supply-and-confidence deal with the NDP. 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says that without his party and decades of pressure from unions, this bill would not have happened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press