Anti-Scab legislation

April 27, 2023

For the good of your community, stop the use of replacement workers now


Since 2015, the right to strike has been clearly protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it helps to stabilize the power imbalance between workers and the employer.
The use of replacement workers (scabs) undermines that right and pits desperate workers against each other. Experience has shown it can increase the intensity and length of labour disputes and ultimately the destructive impacts on economic potential, workplace morale, community cohesion and individual’s lives.

Workplaces in Québec and British Columbia have been protected by prohibitions on the use of replacement workers for decades. Since 1998, the federally-regulated private-sector has also had a prohibition on the permanent use of scabs, but the scope is too narrow and the loopholes are too broad to be effective.

In 2022, as part of the confidence-and-supply agreement with the NDP, the Liberal government committed to table legislation to ban the use of so-called “replacement workers” for both lockouts and strikes by the end of 2023.

The ask is simple

1 – Don’t wait – table and pass robust anti-scab legislation now.

The promised consultations are over.
The NDP and the Bloc Québécois have committed to passing anti-scab legislation quickly. Especially in the context of a minority government, there is no justification to wait until the end of the year to pass this crucial legislation.

2 – Make the legislation meaningful.

A scab is a scab is a scab.
Anyone doing the work of any worker who is not on the job because of a labour dispute is a replacement worker and must fall under the ban.

Who we are

The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America.

For more information or to schedule a follow up meeting, please contact USW’s Legislative Representative George Soule –


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