Harper government’s anti-union laws must be reversed

PSAC National President Robyn Benson has asked the House of Commons Human Resources, Skills, Social development and Status of Persons with Disabilities Committee to approve without delay a government bill that would undo at least some of the damage done to labour relations by the previous Conservative government.

After the committee concludes its hearings and reports back to the House of Commons, the Liberal’s C-4 will be submitted for a vote and then proceed to the Senate.

What is the Liberal’s Bill C4?

Bill C-4 will essentially repeal Bill C-525 and Bill C-377, two of the Harper government’s anti-union laws.

Bill C-525

  • Made it more difficult for all federal workers to exercise their legal right to unionize and remain unionized
  • Eliminated the card-check system that allowed federal labour boards to certify unions if a specified majority of employees in a workplace signed union cards
  • Forces boards to conduct a vote even where a clear majority of employees have made their choice
  • Allows more time for employers to intimidate employees against supporting their union due to the time it takes to hold a vote in every case.

Bill C-377

Bill C-377 imposed new and onerous financial reporting requirements on all labour organizations in Canada by amending the Income Tax Act.

PSAC’s position, also raised by provincial governments, privacy experts and others is that C-377 is:

  • Constitutionally unsound
  • Contravenes federal and provincial privacy statues and laws
  • Creates unnecessary regulations
  • Provides no benefit to union members or taxpayers

PSAC’s brief sent to the committee will be available online soon.


May 5, 2016