NDP Leader Gerry Rogers says the Minister must take action to amend the Labour Relations Act so that binding arbitration would be triggered in situations where a company is found to be bargaining in bad faith. Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says the lock-out of D-J Composites workers in Gander has gone on for 16 months with no end in sight.
Rogers says the Minister of Labour has repeatedly talked about a “balanced approach” but the shameful situation in Gander is far from balanced. Rather, government’s inaction has led to a very unbalanced situation where an obstinate US company is punishing a small group of this province’s workers.
“Twice our Labour Relations Board has found US owned D-J Composites in Gander guilty of bargaining in bad faith,” Rogers said.
Today in Question Period, Rogers asked of the Premier “can he explain to the locked out workers how this US company has more rights under our labour laws than the workers in Gander, and why his minister has done nothing to address this injustice?”
Rogers says feigning neutrality and balance amounts to siding with the company. She says the Minister is still sitting idly by under the guise of neutrality, while this American company violates Canadian collective bargaining standards and workers’ rights, doing what it can to break the union.
“Recommendation number 5 of the 2010 Industrial Inquiry Commission calls for amending the Labour Relations Act to impose binding arbitration in cases when a company has bargained in bad faith, collective bargaining has failed, or when it is in the public interest to do so,” Rogers said. “The situation in Gander fits all these criteria.”
“I ask the Premier again, when will he take action on behalf of these workers and amend our Labour Relations Act?”