Historical Events

February 3, 2005

The National Union, along with the UFCW Canada, released their national study entitled Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion? It documents 170 pieces of legislation passed by the federal and provincial governments in Canada since 1982 that have restricted, suspended or denied collective bargaining rights for Canadian workers. A second edition was published in September 2006.

February 26, 1996

The National Union’s largest Component in Ontario, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, began a five-week strike of 65,000 of its members against the Harris government. The National Union raised $16 million from Components and the rest of the labour movement in interest-free loans for the strike.

February 14, 1994

The NDP government of Ontario proclaimed Bill 49 which amended the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act to extend the right to strike to employees of the Ontario Public Service and removed the reliance on binding arbitration. The irony of Bill 49 was that it was passed on the very same day the government also tabled the Social Contract Act (Bill 48), legislation that terminated collective bargaining in the public sector in Ontario for a three-year period.

February 1, 1978

An Act to Amend the Quebec Labour Code (Bill 45) was proclaimed making Quebec the first jurisdiction in North America to enact anti-strike breaking legislation banning the use of scabs during a legal strike. The only other jurisdiction to have anti-scab legislation is British Columbia. Similar legislation was also passed by the NDP government in Ontario in the 1990s, but was later repealed by the Conservative government of Premier Mike Harris.

February 17, 1944

The federal wartime labour relations regulation, Privy Council Order 1003, was proclaimed. It provided for legally recognized certification procedures, prohibitions against unfair practices by employers, regulation of strikes and lockouts and legally-sanctioned systems of grievance arbitrations. Privy Council Order 1003 was repealed in 1948 and replaced with the Industrial Relations and Disputes Investigation Act which combined compulsory collective bargaining provisions of P.C. 1003 with conciliation and investigation features.