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Unifor calls for federal anti-scab laws, improvements to EI system

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September 18, 2023
By Talent Canada

Parliament Hill with Unifor flags flying in front (CNW Group/Unifor)

Unifor is calling on the federal government to ban the use of replacement workers — aka scabs — and fix the employment insurance (EI) system.

“The studies and consultations have been done. Workers shouldn’t have to wait any longer for workplace and EI changes that will improve working conditions and a withering safety net,” said Lana Payne, Unifor national president.

The union, the largest private sector labour organization in the country that represents more than 315,000 workers, has been ramping up its campaign for anti-scab legislation and to repair what it calls a “needless inaccessible EI system” that offers inadequate benefit rates and fails to provide a proper social safety net.

“Losing one’s job can be a life-changing crisis. The income security provided by a robust employment insurance program would help to prevent a downward spiral and provide a bridge to the next job,” said Payne.


The union said the world is “in an era of unprecedented global corporate power” and a change in laws regulating the use of replacement workers would level the playing field.

“Scabs undermine workers’ collective power, pure and simple,” she said. “Data shows that scab use prolongs strikes and lockouts. Workers and the wider community suffer when labour disputes drag on as a result of workers weakened economic power.”

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