OTTAWA—The next Parliament can make important and lasting changes for workers by banning replacement workers (“scabs”) and fixing Employment Insurance, says Unifor.
“The studies and consultations have been done. Workers shouldn’t have to wait any longer for workplace and EI changes that will improve working conditions and a withering safety net,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.
In recent years Unifor has ramped up campaigns for banning scabs and building better EI. Canada’s needlessly inaccessible EI system offers inadequate benefit rates and does not provide the safety net workers and their families need, says Unifor.
“Losing one’s job can be a life-changing crisis. The income security provided by a robust employment insurance program would help to prevent a downward spiral and provide a bridge to the next job,” said Payne.
In an era of unprecedented global corporate power, Unifor says anti-scab laws are a small step towards leveling the playing field between labour and capital.
“Scabs undermine workers’ collective power, pure and simple,” Payne said. “Data shows that scab use prolongs strikes and lockouts. Workers and the wider community suffer when labour disputes drag on as a result of workers weakened economic power.”
Unifor is calling on the federal government to live up to its promises to introduce anti-scab legislation and deliver on long overdue EI reform during this session of Parliament, among other legislative priorities for workers including Pharmacare, affordable housing, and investments to grow a sustainable and job-secure economy.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.