Improving Bargaining Rights

Canada should:

  • Enshrine into law a guarantee of workers’ rights to bargain collectively, whether in an existing or new general or industrial union (i.e., not a company union) capable of bargaining with similarly organized employers.
  • Ensure that the law makes certification easy to ensure long-term and stable relationships between workers and those who represent their interests. This will be accompanied by stronger legislation on the right to fair representation in the workplace.
  • Provide all temporary migrant workers a pathway to permanent residency, legally ensure their right to bargain collectively through existing unions and by forming new unions in conformity with the above points.
  • Enact legislation to ensure that a simple majority of workers suffices for certification. Interruptions to this process simply provide opportunities for employers to intimidate workers and undermine the will of the workforce.
  • Adopt legislation banning the use of replacement workers during strikes and lockouts.
  • Collaborate with unions to appoint and fund a National Labour Commission. It should be composed exclusively of unions’ representatives and charged with keeping track of important changes in the world of work and proposing revisions to relevant federal and provincial law and regulation concerning topics such as the following every two years:
    • the Labour Code,
    • minimum wages,
    • working from home,
    • protection workers from present and future pandemics or epidemics and other health threats,
    • health and safety procedures generally,
    • pension contributions,
    • anti-discrimination practices,
    • gig economy and precarious work.
  • Provide that, after continuous employment, whether temporary or part-time, of one year, workers should be afforded the same legal rights as full-time employees, in particular regarding protection against dismissal.
  • A new Department of Labour must be established to provide credible support for the non-unionized by advocating and providing resources for unionization. It should target for unionization sectors where bad pay and working conditions have become a norm.

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