OTTAWA –The NDP is calling on the government to respect the right to free collective bargaining by supporting Bill C-234, the anti-scab legislation. New Democrats believe it’s time to modernize the Canadian Labour Code by banning replacement workers as well as schemes to circumvent the law, such as teleworking.

“We need to show leadership in respecting workers’ rights,” said NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. “This bill is an opportunity for the Liberal government to prove that more than just the tone has changed in Ottawa."

In Canada, there are 12,000 businesses and 820,000 employees working under the Canadian Labour Code. There were 1,430 work stoppages, public and private sectors combined, involving strikes or lockouts that lasted more than 10 days.

“The adoption of this bill will send a strong message to workers across the country that the right to collectively bargain their working conditions must be respected,” added Karine Trudel (Jonquière), NDP Deputy Labour Critic and sponsor of the bill. The use of scabs infringes on workers’ ability to negotiate and hurts labor relations. We must respect and guarantee the right to free collective bargaining in Canada," Trudel concluded.