by MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Small businesses across Canada face a challenge as the proposed legislation to ban replacement workers in federally regulated workplaces during a strike or lockout looms large. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) warns that if enacted, this legislation could have dire consequences for the economy and the livelihoods of small enterprises.
Jasmin Guenette, Vice-President of National Affairs at CFIB, expressed concerns, pointing to recent strikes at BC ports as evidence of the potential pitfalls of such a ban. Guenette stated, If passed, this bill could prolong the duration of strikes and increase their frequency. We’ve seen it happen in British Columbia and Quebec, where there’s already a legislation to ban replacement workers and where they have experienced more strikes than other jurisdictions.”
Highlighting the adverse effects on small businesses, Guenette emphasized that long strikes at ports or rails severely impact operations and finances, creating a ripple effect that hampers economic stability. Guenette questioned the necessity of the bill, suggesting it may be introduced for political reasons rather than genuine need.
A survey by CFIB revealed that 73% of small businesses who had an opinion on the matter opposed the proposed ban on replacement workers. Moreover, 92% of small businesses with an opinion argued that employees from federally regulated workplaces crucial to the supply chain should be designated essential service providers.
Christina Santini, CFIB’s Director of National Affairs, stressed the unpredictable nature of strikes on small businesses. “When strikes happen, small businesses are impacted by something completely out of their control. The longer strikes last, the greater harm they cause,” she explained. Santini further cautioned that the proposed federal legislation could exacerbate work stoppage activities across the Canadian economy.
To bolster the economy and ensure fairness for small businesses, CFIB recommends the government reject the anti-replacement worker legislation. Instead, they propose considering essential service designation with binding arbitration for federally regulated workplaces, including ports, rail, air, trucking service providers, and telecommunications.