Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

October 08, 2009 13:13 ET

Workers Rally at Queen's Park In Support of Bill 86 Anti-Scab Legislation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - Today at noon, at Queen's Park, workers from around the province will come together at a rally in support of an NDP private members bill which would ban the use of scab labour during strike or lockout situations.

"This is a good piece of legislation," says Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "The balance of power at the bargaining table has tilted sharply in favour of corporations and against workers. Bill 86 would help level the playing field."

The Bill, introduced by Welland MPP Peter Kormos passed first reading in the legislature on June 3, 2008. The Bill comes up for second reading this afternoon following the rally.

"The past experience in Ontario, and the example of other Canadian provinces with anti-scab laws in place, shows us that this sort of legislation reduces the number of days lost to strikes and greatly reduces the likelihood of picket line violence," says Samuelson. "Companies create a dangerous powder keg when they bring in scab labour who are literally taking food off of the plates of striking workers' children. Emotions can run very high."

Around the province, a number of companies have taken advantage of the economic crisis to try to extract major concessions from employees on key issues such as pensions, wages and post-retirement benefits. Increasingly, these companies are resorting to the use of scabs in the hope of quickly extracting unreasonable concessions they would not otherwise get.

"Companies think they can use scabs to bully workers into taking an unfair deal. Management at companies like Vale Inco and ECP in Brantford think they'll solve their labour problems overnight," says Samuelson. "The effect is actually the opposite. The whole bargaining situation becomes poisoned and these disputes drag out much longer than they need to."

"Good labour legislation encourages a positive relationship between workers and management, good faith bargaining and quick dispute resolution," says Samuelson. "Bill 86 accomplishes those goals. That is just good public policy"

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Wayne Samuelson
    Mobile: (416) 571-7408
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    Mike Belmore
    Cell: (905) 308-4300