National Joint Letter on Replacement Workers

3 Feb 2023

An initiative of our national association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, more than 75 organizations have co-signed a letter to highlight the fact that an upcoming bill proposed by the Government of Canada on replacement workers is far too restrictive for employers and businesses.


Hon. Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Labour
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada
Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport


Dear Ministers:
The proposal to introduce legislation on prohibiting replacement workers in federally regulated industries raises serious concern for Canadian business, including many that play an essential role in growing our economy and ensuring that our supply chains operate efficiently.
While we all respect and want to protect the right to collective bargaining, the proposed anti-replacement worker legislation goes too far and has the potential to destabilize our economy. It will disrupt the carefully-constructed balance we have built within our labour relations system, leading to more labour strife within key sectors of our economy. As a result, it threatens to cause major disruptions to already-fragile supply chains.
Though rarely used, replacement workers allow organizations in sectors like trucking, rail, ports, telecom, and air to provide a basic level of service that preserves critical services to Canadians. Eliminating the possibility of using replacement workers to maintain important services will provide an encouragement to strike rather than to bargain collectively, which raises the risk of significant damage to Canada’s economy and our reputation as a reliable place to do business, as well as compromising Canadians’ ability to receive the services they require. The data clearly demonstrate that, where replacement worker bans exist, there are more strikes, and they last longer.

Canadians are already feeling the serious effects of inflationary pressures in our economy. Any actions that would further disrupt supply chain processes will only raise costs more. These costs will in turn get passed down to Canadians. Canada’s reputation as a destination of choice for investment and doing business relies on a resilient and reliable system, which a ban on replacement workers will severely undermine.
We urge you to put the interests of Canadians and of the Canadian economy first and reconsider the government’s plan to introduce this legislation. The Canadian economy – and Canadians – simply cannot afford it, nor does it create value for Canadians.
We would welcome an early opportunity to sit down with you to discuss the issue in more detail.
Sincerely,

Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce
Amherst & Area Chamber of Commerce
Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce
Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce
Brampton Board of Trade
Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Burnaby Board of Trade
Business Council of Manitoba
Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Canadian
Automobile Dealers’ Association
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Franchise Association
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Canadian Meat Council
Cap-Acadie Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mégantic Region
Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant
Chamber of Commerce Niagara Falls (Canada)
Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce
Conseil du patronat du Québec
Dufferin Board of Trade
Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce
Electro-Federation Canada
Fertilizer Canada
FETCO
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
Freight Management Association of Canada
Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce
Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce
Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce
Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada
Killam and District Chamber of Commerce
Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
Madoc & District Chamber of Commerce
National Airline Council of Canada
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce
Orillia District Chamber of Commerce
Port Colborne-Wainfleet Chamber of Commerce
Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce
Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce
Railway Association of Canada
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce
Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la capitale nationale
Responsible Distribution Canada (RDC)
Restaurants Canada
South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce
Surrey Board of Trade
Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce
Temiskaming Shores & Area Chamber of Commerce
The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton
The Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce
The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce
Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce
West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce
West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
Western Grain Elevator Association
Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce

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