Friday, June 10, 2011

NDP Private Member's Bill Would Ban Replacement Workers

From NDPer Chris Charlton:

The purpose of this enactment is to prohibit employers under the Canada Labour Code from hiring replacement workers to perform the duties of employees who are on strike or locked out.

The enactment also provides for the imposition of a fine for an offence.
I'm not dead set against banning scab labour, although in practice any government that  legislated in this manner would have the business community on their case forever.  And maybe the NDP has made similar proposals when they were 3rd party-ers.  But as official opposition even their private members bills are going to come under great deal of scrutiny.  I can just see how this one might play out in the days and weeks ahead.  Think Ruby Dhalla and Bill C-428.


Greg Fingas said...

Yes, the NDP has introduced or supported anti-scab legislation plenty of times in the past. In fact, it was all set to pass in 2007 - until a party which had largely supported the legislation at second reading changed its mind suddenly and without explanation.

Guess which one.

(Which is to say that there is a party which may have reason to be uncomfortable about debating the subject - but it's most certainly not the NDP.)

Anonymous said...

So I understand, you're criticizing, from the perspective of a self-described progressive blogger, a highly progressive piece of proposed legislation on the sole basis that said bill will result in the business community getting all over the proposing party's case? Am I getting this straight?

In my experience, if the Canadian Council of Chief Executives isn't lobbying hard against me, I'm not being effective.

bigcitylib said...

Because it will never pass and will only serve to alienate potential NDP support. Its basically like wearing a big "kick me" sign.

bigcitylib said...

And I'd forgotten about 2007. Turns out I had the same opinion then and was glad when Dion gave it a pass.

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The NDP Bill C-501, which would change the creditor status of pensions during bankruptcy proceedings from unsecured to secured, resulting in pensioners standing a better chance of receiving their full pension should their former employers go under, was vehemently opposed by the financial industry, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, and much of the business community, yet the bill will be tabled again in another form by the NDP, for precisely the reason that it is good legislation and the right thing to do. Perhaps we view things differently, not being from a party that relies on corporations and Bay Street and who lacks a revolving door between our caucus, staff and the aforesaid institutions. It isn’t that the NDP is anti-business. It’s just that we understand that the priorities and felt prerogatives of corporate and financial elites aren’t the only ones to consider.

bigcitylib said...


I think you view things from the perspective of a party that yearns for 3rd party status again. You guys want the big prize, you are going to have to ditch a bunch of your principles. So you will have to do alot of soul-searching to figrure out what can be sacrificed, and what preserved. The latest polls put you about 6% behind the Harper Torys. Your job is to make that distance, not piss off the folks (like myself) who might be tempted to vote for you if you don`t act too crazy as the opposition.

But of course, youth never listen.

Steve Bloom said...

"You guys want the big prize, you are going to have to ditch a bunch of your principles."

Jeez, bcl.

sharonapple88 said...

The socialist caucus are pushing for some hard-line positions at the next NDP convention. I doubt that any are going to go through, probably for more pragmatic reasons -- don't want to scare the voters by seeming too radical -- than any other.

In the end on the matter of principle, there's an interesting line Esther Duflo, a development economist said, "If we don't know whether we are doing any good then we are not any better than the medieval doctors and their leeches." If something's proven not to work, it should go.

Anonymous said...

Once again, so I understand: a bill that prohibits the use of scab labour is the sort of legislation that will piss off self-described progressives like yourself such that you'll not vote for us ( at least not until we make a convincing enough show of ditching enough of our principles so that we'll seem prepared for the big leagues?) As much as I've enjoyed reading your blog over the previous year, I have to say that this is one of your more ill considered post\threads. Goodness.

bigcitylib said...

Right, ther, because it will never ever become law and this kind of tilting at windmills is pointless for a party that wants to actually become government someday. The NDP needs to grow up. Just friendly advice. Ignore it if you want.

Anonymous said...

I see this bill as having more of a chance of becoming law than, say, Gerard Kennedy's C-400, his war resisters private members bill.It had even less a chance of becoming law, since his own party would never in a million years allow it.

At least Charlton's bill has the broad support of her party. She isn't, like Kennedy, merely running left flank to keep the left Libs on board, but instead taking a genuinely principled stand.

I've been looking in your archives and I'm hard-pressed to find any such criticism of Kennedy's insincere windmill tilting. Is there a double standard here at play?

And what of John McKay's C-300, his CSR mining bill? The NDP supported it, but those of us working on the issue knew that should the bill ever threaten to become law that McKay's own party would not support it, and sure enough at the last minute it was the lack of LPC support that killed it. What of this bit of windmill tilting?

I guess the question is this: is it better to be a progressive within a genuinely progressive party, or a progressive operating within a party that is anything but? The NDP understands the need to compromise its principles from time to time in order to govern, and we have a good record of doing this provincially. The difference is, I guess, is that we remain animated by these principals even as we understand, from a pragmatic perspective, that we are unable to get too far out ahead of the electorate at any given time.

Nor are we afraid to take on powerful corporate or financial interests on behalf of the larger good. That's what progressive parties do, after all. This isn't a sign of immaturity, or naivete--quite the opposite. I would suggest that liberals have lost touch with their own history on this matter, as history is replete with examples of small l liberal parties pursuing a larger good against the financial and corporate powers of their respective days (think FDR, think Trudeau).

Tof KW said...

Nor are we afraid to take on powerful corporate or financial interests on behalf of the larger good.

And that right there folks is why the NDP will never become the government. Ditch the union bullshit Dippers, and then you've got a chance to replace the Grits for good.

"Taking on" is code for fucking over the banks and multinationals. "Working with" to implement parts of your agenda would get you much farther. See Tony Blair and 'New Labour' for details.

susansmith said...

yes, I remember Dion being booed at a rally with chants of anti-scab. Yeah, the progressives there were upset that at the last minute the Liberals were so mature that they did the talk but just couldn't do the walk -

And normally I don't link to a conservative blog but it does have a clip -

Have a good day - being 2-faced!

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Ironist. This is exactly why people don't respect politicians. We elect good, responsible, *principled* people to lead us, only to find out they've promptly jettisoned those ideals in the name of pragmatism. Or as Harper puts it, anything to win.