PSAC pushes for improvements to anti-scab legislation, expand protections to all federal workers

PSAC National President Chris Aylward provided key recommendations to strengthen anti-scab legislation during Parliamentary committee hearings this week.

In November 2023 the Minister of Labour tabled bill C-58, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012. The Act aims to ban the use of replacement workers under the Canada Labour Code. 

The use of replacement workers drags out labour disputes and divides communities by pitting workers against each other.

Progressive and effective legislation to ban replacement workers has been a long-standing demand of trade unions across this country,” said Aylward. “We are proposing simple changes that will make this legislation truly effective in leveling the playing field and ensuring free and fair collective bargaining for all workers governed in the sector.”

PSAC believes that Bill C-58, as drafted, is an excellent start, however the legislation can be improved and strengthened by: 

  • Increasing the scope of prohibitions on performing struck work; 
  • Clarifying confusing provisions around the use of “dependent contractors”;  
  • Bringing forward the date at which the legislation comes into force; and
  • Shortening the timeframe for decision-making regarding essential services.  

Read PSAC’s full recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).

The Canada Labour Code currently governs the working conditions of approximately one million workers in Canada. But it is crucial that anti-scab laws are universally implemented throughout the country.

PSAC is calling on the government to amend the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) to ban the use of replacement workers in the federal workforce and to expand anti-scab protections to over 400,000 workers in the federal public service.

PSAC will continue to advocate for improvements to Bill C-58 and anti-scab legislation that applies to all workers.


March 22, 2024