The NBFL applauds the introduction of Bill 51, an act to ban the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout in New Brunswick. The legislative change was introduced by Kent North Green Party MLA Kevin Arseneau.
“The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is calling on all MLAs to vote in favor of this important legislation, it is long overdue,” says Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.
Labour disputes are prolonged when scab labour is allowed, with a lingering animosity that can infect a workplace for years. Management is given an unfair advantage to drag its heels in bargaining, reaping profits from unpaid salaries (replacement workers are often paid less) and compromising any hope for a fair settlement. Meanwhile, productivity drops.
Jurisdictions in Canada that have banned replacement workers, namely Quebec and British Columbia, have seen a significant drop in the number of workdays lost due to a strike or lockout. It has also led to more workplace stability. Quebec banned the practice in 1977 and BC in 1993.
“For far too long the use of scab workers has divided workplaces, families and communities,” adds Legere, “It creates deep wounds that take generations to heal.”
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