Nfld. & Labrador

Bring in 'anti-scab' laws now, NDP says

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael says Ocean Choice International's use of replacement workers on the Newfoundland Lynx is proof that "anti-scab" legislation is necessary in the province.

New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael points to OCI-FFAW dispute as proof of 'deteriorating' labour environment

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael wants anti-scab legislation tabled in the house of assembly. (CBC)

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael says Ocean Choice International's use of replacement workers on the Newfoundland Lynx is proof that "anti-scab" legislation is necessary in the province.

Michael noted that the Lynx situation follows Vale's use of replacement workers during a lengthy strike at its Voisey's Bay site in Labrador.

Early Thursday morning, RCMP in Bay Roberts detained picketing union members and helped shepherd replacement workers hired by OCI to the Lynx. The police were enforcing a court order OCI had won earlier in the week.

"We have a real deteriorating situation with the private sector here and labour, and government has to step in," Michael told On Point with David Cochrane.

"And the only way is by bringing in anti-scab legislation."

Meanwhile, NDP labour critic Dale Kirby wants the labour minister, Terry French, to intervene in the Lynx dispute.

"He has not had a word to say about this, has given tacit approval by saying nothing," Kirby said.

"Maybe he is the minister for scab labour, I don't know, but he's certainly not doing his job as the minister of labour." 

Kirby said the government must immediately table legislation in the house of assembly that stops companies from using replacement workers.

Without it, Kirby said, other employers will see this situation as permission to weaken workers' rights and benefits.

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