The NDP Caucus is questioning why government has introduced a Private Member’s Motion when government already has the power to deal with protracted labour disputes.
The NDP Caucus has been calling on government to act on the recommendation of the Voisey’s Bay Industrial Inquiry to allow for binding arbitration to settle disputes where collective bargaining has truly failed.
Today in Question Period, Leader Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) said that government’s Private Member’s Motion calls for a vague process that respects the rights of unionized and non-unionized employees.
“I ask the Premier: does he mean his government supports non-unionized employees replacing unionized workers who are on strike? Is he saying he supports scab labour during strikes or lockouts?” Rogers said.
Rogers also asked the Premier if he will introduce anti-replacement legislation to protect the rights for fair bargaining for our workers. “That’s the measure that is needed,” she said.
Critic for Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) says D-J Composites workers are heading into their 17 month of being locked out while the IOC strike now heads into its seventh week.
“Why are we debating a private Member’s Motion when a lockout has been completely within his power to solve by acting on the recommendation of the Voisey’s Bay Industrial Inquiry to allow for binding arbitration to settle disputes where collective bargaining has truly failed, and which is a recommendation that the labour movement agreed with?” Michael said.
“I ask the Premier, what is the Premier’s answer to companies who take away all power from their workers by locking them out?”