Monday, December 11, 2006

Bill 257, bad for everyone

Bill 257 is a private members bill from the Bloc Quebecois that if passed would ban the use of replacement workers during strikes at federally regulated businesses. This disaster of a bill should not be allowed to pass, and I advise you to check how your MP is planning to vote, because if it does it would give too much power to the unions and could in fact paralyze the country.

Far from being just a bill to limit the use of replacement workers, Bill 257 not only puts limits on what an employer can do during a lockout or strike, but it also puts limits on the union members themselves by not allowing them the choice to go work at their own jobs inside the company. It would force people in unions to strike even if they did not want to, which while bad for free choice and the workers, would help increase the strength of the union. Is it any wonder that all the unions are in favour of this legislation.

As for the employers, this bill would effectively shut them down for the duration of a strike or lockout. During a strike an Employer would not be able to hire any replacement workers, allow any member of the striking union to cross a picket line to work either at his regular job or even at another job in a different location, import his own employees from other locations to fill in , or allow any employee or management to do the job of a member of the striking union.

Did you catch that last line? No one, including management would be allowed to do any job that was performed by a union member. The only thing an employer would be allowed to do during a strike essentially would be to make sure the furnace was on so the pipes do not freeze and lock the doors. A union strikes and the employer shuts down; a unions dream but a nightmare for the rest of us.

Think about that for a moment. The union would not only have the power to shut down telecommunications companies like Bell and Telus (what about 911 service?), but could also shut down air travel in this country completely on a whim. Unions usually choose to strike at the moment where they can do the most damage to their employers and subsequently the public; think postal unions who seem to always go on strike just before the Christmas season, or better yet when was the last time a teachers union went on strike in July when school was out?

This bill give all the power to the unions, does not level the playing field, and has the ability to cripple our country and must be defeated. The Liberals and their new leader Stephane Dion have not yet decided on which way they will go on this, but so far Liberal MP Denis Coderre and few others are looking to be favour of this legislation.

How is your MP planning to vote?

News stories: Here, and here

Blog stories: here, and here

Your comments are as always welcome, and I would like to ask my Liberal friends their opinion on the proposed legislation as well.

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