Yesterday, November 9, the Hon. Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Labour, introduced Bill C-58, that would ban, or limit, the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout. This would amend the Canada Labour Code that applies to federally regulated industries, including interprovincial or international transportation by all modes. The Backgrounder, published with the Minister’s news release, states as follows.

It applies to a broad range of federally regulated industries, including interprovincial and international air, rail, road and marine transportation, banks, telecommunications, as well as postal and courier services. In total, about 22,350 employers and about 1,030,000 employees are covered by Part I of the Code. Of these, about 34% are unionized.

The Backgrounder provides useful details on the proposed amendments limiting the use of replacement workers. It provides one notable exception as follows.

  • Employers would still have the ability to deploy their existing workforce, except members of the bargaining unit involved in the work stoppage, so long as they did not hire those individuals after the start of bargaining.

The Minister’s News Release can be found below: