Unifor activists took advantage of recent roundtable meetings hosted by federal labour minister Patty Hajdu to make the case for anti-scab laws in federally-regulated sectors.
The first of two meetings was held on March 1 in Halifax with area Members of Parliament Rodger Cuzner and Andy Fillmore. Unifor members from aerospace industry, shipbuilding, marine transport, and telecommunications were present to discuss current issues affecting the workplace.
“Issues such as contracting work overseas cut across multiple sectors in Eastern Canada,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Area Director. “In addition to workplace concerns, our members were also eager to discuss the importance of the federal government to move ahead on pharmacare as soon as possible.”
The second roundtable, hosted by Minister Hadju in Kamloops on March 5, welcomed Unifor rank-and-file members from the rail, forestry, media, and manufacturing sectors. At the top of members’ agenda was the need for federal anti-scab legislation to improve health and safety and to more quickly resolve lock-outs and strikes.
“Scabs both extend bitter disputes but also jeopardize the safety of Canadians when they’re replacing the work of experience skilled workers,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Personally, I don’t want to fly on a jet repaired by a scab who is the lowest bidder in a temporary job.”
Hadju made no commitments about the proposed legislation, but asked for more information about models used in other jurisdictions, such as Quebec.