Our House is Open: Anti-scab legislation should be priority

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) today renewed her call for anti-scab legislation for the province.

Michael has just returned from Brazil, where she was able to observe the impact of the operations of the multinational corporation Vale on the lives of workers and communities. Vale owns and operates the Voisey’s Bay mine, and was able to extend a strike for 18 months because it could hire scabs, or replacement workers, to do the work of the unionized strikers.

“This government promised to look at anti-scab legislation in 2007, but has done nothing,” said Michael. “It is absolutely vital that the Premier open the House, introduce this legislation and pass it so that our labour relations values will survive the increasing involvement of trans-nationals in our resource development.”

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NDP Caucus: Our House is Open
Question for December 6, 2011
Lorraine Michael, MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi

Mr. Speaker my question is for the Premier. In January of this year we saw the end to the Voisey’s Bay strike— at 18 months the longest strike in this province’s history because Vale did not want to negotiate and was able to hire scab labour to keep the mine going.

Mr. Speaker, the Industrial Inquiry Commission put in place to answer questions about the strike advised Government to make sure our labour relations values will survive the entry into Canada of transnationals like Vale that are used to denying workers their rights and to paying wages that are unacceptable.

In 2007 your government promised to look at implementing anti-scab legislation but did nothing.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Premier, when will this government bring in anti-scab legislation to protect employees in this province against unfair labour practices?

Associated Caucus Members: 

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