Restrictive Labour Laws

Labour Rights Under Attack

230 Restrictive labour laws

In the past three decades Canadians have seen a serious erosion of a fundamental and universal human right, their right to organize into a union and engage in full and free collective bargaining.  Federal and provincial governments have passed numerous labour laws since 1982 that have restricted, suspended or denied collective bargaining rights for Canadian workers.

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Title Jurisdiction Type of Legislation Datesort descending

An Act respecting the process of negotiation of collective agreements in the public and para public sectors, 1985 (Bill 37, June)

The Act narrowed the scope of collective bargaining for workers employed in the education and social affairs sector and government agencies, empowered government to impose wage rates in the second and third year of collective agreements and restricted the right to strike.

Quebec Back to work - settlement imposed June 1985

Essential Services Disputes Act (August 1985)

This Act was invoked to suspend the right to strike for Oak Bay Police in August 1985.

British Columbia Suspension of bargaining rights August 1985

Wellington County Board of Education and Teachers Dispute Settlement Act, 1985 (Bill 63, November)

The Act ended a two-month strike by teachers and provided for a collective agreement to be enacted by a government-appointed Commission.

Ontario Back to work - settlement imposed November 1985

SGEU Dispute Settlement Act, 1986 (Bill 144, January)

The Act ended a strike by 12,000 provincial government employees, permitted dismissal of employees who disobeyed the order, and imposed a settlement based on a conciliation report. It also invoked the notwithstanding clause to exempt the Act from section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (guaranteeing freedom of association).

Saskatchewan Back to work - settlement imposed January 1986

Labour Code (February 1986)

The government invoked section 111.0.24 of the Code to suspend the right to strike of maintenance employees for the Montréal South Shore Transit Commission in February 1986.

Quebec Back to work - settlement imposed February 1986

Labour Code (March 1986)

The government invoked section 111.0.24 of the Code to suspend the right to strike of blue-collar workers employed by the City of Montréal in March 1986.

Quebec Back to work - settlement imposed March 1986

An Act respecting the resumption of transit services in the territory of certain school boards, 1986 (Bill 34, March)

The Act ended a strike by school bus drivers, extended the collective agreement in effect and provided for the appointment of a conciliation board.

Quebec Back to work - settlement imposed March 1986

Wheel-Trans Labour Dispute Settlement Act, 1986 (Bill 2, April)

The Act ended a strike of para transit workers and provided for binding arbitration.

Ontario Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration April 1986

An Act to Amend Chapter 19 of the Trade Union Act, 1986 (Bill 91, May)

The Act required private sector unions to take a vote of its membership on the employer’s final offer before a strike could begin.

Nova Scotia Restrictions on scope of bargaining May 1986

An Act respecting the resumption of construction work, 1986 (Bill 106, June)

The Act ordered construction workers back to work, banned any further strike action for three years and imposed mandatory mediation.

Quebec Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration June 1986

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