UPDATED: Federal anti-scab legislation cleared the Senate on June 17, paving the way for a ban on strikebreakers by next summer, depending on when exactly the bill receives royal assent. 

Teamsters Canada is encouraged by the recent adoption of Bill C-58. It marks a significant step forward in protecting the rights of workers across the federal sector. This landmark legislation, which bans the use of replacement workers during strikes and lockouts, aims to balance the power between employers and employees during labour disputes.

Such laws, already present in Quebec since 1977 and in British Columbia since 1993, have proven their effectiveness in protecting workers during the collective bargaining process.

However, while we celebrate this achievement, there is still work left to be done.

As of right now, the bill will take 12 months to be implemented. This delay poses a serious risk to its effectiveness, as it opens the possibility for a future government to repeal the law before it takes effect. Such a scenario would undermine the progress made on this legislation and leave workers vulnerable once again.

If the Liberal government is serious in its intentions to protect workers, it needs to expedite its adoption by the Senate, to make sure that it is turned into a robust law, that a future government won’t be simply able to overturn on a whim.

In the end, while the adoption of Bill C-58 is a monumental step forward for workers’ rights in Canada, its future remains uncertain without swift action. The Senate must pass the bill and the government must prioritize the immediate implementation of this legislation.

Teamsters Canada stands firm in its commitment to advocate for the final adoption of this crucial legislation and urges the government to resist pressure from anti-worker business groups seeking to undermine it. This is the only way to create a more equitable and just labour relations environment, and to secure the rights and protections that Canadian workers deserve. The time for action is now, and together, we can make a lasting and positive impact on the future of labour relations in our country.

François Laporte
President of Teamsters Canada
Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters