It’s finally law – IAM Canadian GVP congratulates activists on decades of hard work

It’s finally law – IAM Canadian GVP congratulates activists on decades of hard work

Another monumental triumph for the labour movement is the passage of Bill C-58, the Anti-Scab legislation, which received unanimous support from MPs and clearance by the Senate on 17 June, 2024.

After decades of relentless advocacy, Canada now has federal anti-scab legislation. This is crucial for protecting workers and their right to strike. The use of scab labour not only undermines this right but also exacerbates labour disputes and intensifies hostility on picket lines.

The legislation will apply to employers and workers in federally regulated sectors covered by Part I of the Code. This includes industries such as interprovincial and international air, rail, road, and marine transportation, as well as banks, telecommunications, and postal and courier services.

“I want to thank all IAM activists and those in other unions and the progressive movements who worked on this relentlessly. Together with Canada’s New Democrats who fought alongside us, we now have this law,” said David Chartrand, IAM Canadian General Vice-President. “Our robust political action program made sure we put the pressure on for these last few years.”

“I’ve heard countless stories from workers who have faced direct confrontations during strikes, jeopardizing their safety and livelihoods. This must never happen. We are pleased to see this long-overdue protection for workers that will significantly restore balance at the bargaining table,” added Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

The new law also mandates that employers and unions agree early in the bargaining process on which work must continue during a strike or lockout to ensure public health and safety. The parties must reach an agreement no later than 15 days after a notice to bargain is issued.

These measures will take effect on June 20, 2025, allowing the CIRB time to prepare for its new responsibilities, according to the federal government.

The passage of the Bill, not surprisingly, received condemnation from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.