Replacement Workers: Why Do Unions Believe They Need Anti-Scab Legislation?

June 16, 2011

In recent years numerous unions have lobbied the government at both a federal and provincial level in hopes of getting legislation to ban the use of replacement workers. Most firms when developing labour dispute contingency plans understand the complexities of utilizing replacement labour and the long term impact to relations with their union. However, they find themselves in a difficult situation. If they elect not to operate and meet union demands, they become uncompetitive in the global market place. Worse yet, if they fail to meet their client obligations because they don’t continue operations, their business will be lost to competitors and will close.

Unions believe that allowing the use of replacement workers shifts the balance of power to management and results in longer strikes. The fact remains that both sides have equal power under current laws. The union can withdraw services and management can continue to operate.
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