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Nov 13, 2023

Banning replacement workers could hurt small businesses

The proposed legislation to ban replacement workers in federally regulated workplaces during a strike or a lockout is terrible news for small businesses, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

"It looks like Ottawa has not learned any lessons from the most recent strikes at BC ports,” says Jasmin Guenette, vice-president of national affairs at CFIB. “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. Long strikes at ports or rails hurt small businesses' operations and finances. There's a reason why similar bills were always voted down in the past. They put too much power in the hands of large unions, and they are a threat to the economy as a whole. It looks like this bill is introduced for political reasons and not because it's necessary." 

Research by CFIB shows 73 percent of small businesses wouldn't support such a ban. The majority (92 percent) of small businesses with an opinion also say that employees from federally regulated workplaces that are instrumental to the supply chain should be deemed essential service providers. 

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