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Sudbury MPP fights for anti-replacement worker legislation


The New Democrats have long fought for legislation that would ban companies from hiring temporary workers to fill the gaps while their employees are on strike.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas and Jamie West were among those in attendance Wednesday.

The NDP argues that replacement workers prolong strikes and delay negotiations, hurting everyone involved. Gélinas said Sudburians will likely remember the USW Local 6500 strike than ended in 2010.

“One of the reasons why the strike went on for so long is because of scab,” she said.

Gélinas said that, while strikes and lockouts don’t happen very often, the ripple effect is felt long after the negotiations are settled.

She said replacement workers are often improperly trained or out of a job once those on the picket lines return to work.

“Companies tend to go after vulnerable people. People who need money,” she said.

“In southern Ontario, you’ll often see people who don’t speak English and French. They’re new to the community, they offer them a ton of money to cross the line. But the minute the strike is over, they toss them to the curb.”

This is the 16th time the New Democrats have tried to pass the legislation.

Political science professor David Tabachnick said Opposition bills get passed.

He said the NDP’s motive is likely to make a point to the Progressive Conservatives.

“They’re basically calling the Progressive Conservatives’ bluff to some degree, by saying do you really support the blue collar workers?” Tabachnick said.

“If you do, then you should obviously support this legislation, which clearly they do not.”

CTV News reached out to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills development. In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“Ontario has one of the best track records in the country for resolving labour disputes without disruption. Our ministry's responsibility is to stay neutral and encourage parties to remain at the table, where 98 per cent of deals are reached.”

The legislature is expected to vote on the NDP’s plan sometime after Easter. Top Stories

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