Lost in legislation

Unions worry as back-to-work legislation crops up across Canada
By Liz Foster
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/20/2014

Provincial governments on Canada’s east and west coasts recently met long-lasting labour disputes with a legislative response — and unions across the country are worried workers’ rights will soon be lost in legislation.

Back-to-work legislation was introduced in the Port Metro Vancouver truckers’ strike after weeks of disruption from 250 unionized and 1,000 non-union workers. The legislation — which called for a 90-day cooling-off period — included potential fines of up to $400 per day for unionized truckers and $10,000 per day for the union itself if it refused to return to work.

“This legislation is being tabled reluctantly and comes after multiple attempts over recent weeks to end the dispute and get Port Metro Vancouver back to full capacity,” said Shirley Bond, British Columbia’s labour minister, in a statement following the bill’s introduction.