Legal News

Federal Bill Prohibiting Replacement Workers Reaches Second Reading

Bill C-257, which would ban the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout under the Canada Labour Code, reached second reading in the House of Commons in late October after only two days of debate. The Code amendments, which were proposed by the Bloc Quebecois in May 2006, would significantly restrict the ability of federally-regulated employers to function during a strike or lockout.

Currently, employers governed by the federal Code may use replacement workers as long as they do not do so for the purpose of undermining a trade union’s representational capacity. Bill C-257 prohibits the use of employees employed by the same employer in another location, or employees of another employer, to perform the duties of workers who are on strike or locked out. The services of a director, officer, manager, superintendent or foreman of the employer could be used only to conserve the employer’s assets and operations.

Penalties for use of replacement workers would include fines of up to $1,000 for each day or part of a day on which the Code was breached.

(Click here for link to text of Bill C-257)