On October 29, Conservative MP Blaine Calkins opened the debate on the anti-worker Bill C-525. Once again, the Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is using a no-name backbencher to do his dirty work. The appropriate manner to amend the Canadian labour code is well established: the Labour Minister, after thorough consultations with all stakeholders, should be the one to introduce any bill to amend the code. But it’s not the Harper Conservatives way. They are continuing with their unilateral approach that disrespects Parliamentary process and Canadian workers and employers.
You can sign our petition against C525 here : http://www.isupport-boulerice.org/attacks_against_workers_must_stop
In his speech to the House of Commons, Calkins claimed: “I have heard from constituents all over my riding and across Canada about concerns that workers have when it comes to their union's representation. They feel confined and they speak of intimidation from their own union and its organizers.” When asked for evidence of these claims Calkins has remained silent
My fellow Democrats and I will fight to defend Canadian workers and ensure their rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
C-525, as you know, will significantly hinder the ability of workers to organize and ease disaffiliation for those under federal jurisdiction. It contains changes that still leave us speechless in their irresponsibility and recklessness. (You can read the bill here)
The bill will abolish the practice, widely accepted, of 50% + 1 of membership cards signing to form a bargaining unit . This bill would make secret ballots mandatory. Numerous studies have proved that it encourages intimidation and unfair practices by some employers.
The bill imposes what is essentially a form of vote rigging in union certification votes by counting all non-voters as opposing the union.
And the reverse is true in disaffiliations – those who don’t vote count as voting to decertify the union!
Finally, the bill abolishes the widely accept card-check procedure for forming a union, which offers workers protection against intimidation and other unfair labour practices from employers.
Going forward, I will keep you informed of developments related to this bill.
MP for Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie
Official opposition labour critic