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

Public Service Reform Act, 1991 (Bill C-26, June)

The Act expanded the category of federal government employees occupying managerial and confidential positions who were excluded from unionization. The Act also allowed Cabinet to suspend strikes during an election period and enabled management to hire more casual workers and contract out a larger amount of work.

Federal Government Suspension of bargaining rights June 1991

An Act respecting the extension of collective agreements and remuneration in the public sector, 1991 (Bill 149, July)

The Act extended existing collective agreements of approximately 300,000 public sector employees for up to three years with the parties’ agreement, or up to one year without, and imposed a limitation on wage increases of three percent for nine months following the extension and one percent for three months thereafter.

Quebec Suspension of bargaining rights July 1991

Public Sector Compensation Management Act, 1991 (Bill 70, July)

The Act extended collective agreements of all public sector employees for one year.
This legislation was the subject of a complaint to the ILO (Case 1604) in October 1991, and found not to comply fully with the principles of freedom of association.

Manitoba Suspension of bargaining rights July 1991

Public Sector Compensation Management Act, 1991 (Bill 70, July)

The Act extended collective agreements of all public sector employees for one year.

Ontario Suspension of bargaining rights July 1991

Postal Services Continuation Act, 1991 (Bill C-40, October)

The Act ordered an end to a strike by postal workers, extended the expired collective agreement and provided for the appointment of an arbitrator.

Federal Government Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration October 1991

Thunder Bay Grain Handling Operations Act, 1991 (Bill C-37, October)

The Act ended a nine-day strike by approximately 900 grain handlers, extended the collective agreement and provided for the appointment of a mediator-arbitrator.

Federal Government Back to work - dispute sent to arbitration October 1991

Public Sector Compensation Act, 1991 (Bill C-29, October)

The Act ended a strike by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), extended existing contracts for a two-year period with no wage increase in the first year and a three percent wage increase in the second year and           suspended collective bargaining for a three-year period.

Federal Government Back to work - settlement imposed October 1991

Extension of Compensation Restraint in the Public Sector Act, 1992 (Bill 17)

The Act suspended collective bargaining for another two years and extended the wage freeze contained in Bill 16 (see above) for a further year to all public sector employees and set a maximum wage increase in the second year of three percent. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Suspension of bargaining rights January 1992

Expenditure Management Act, 1992 (Bill 42, May)

The Act gave public sector bargaining agents the choice to accept an extension of existing collective agreements with a two-year wage package of one percent and two percent, or to negotiate another extension period consistent with the restraint measures contained in the legislation.

New Brunswick Suspension of bargaining rights May 1992

Labour Relations Amendment Act, 1992 (Bill 85, June)

The amendments expanded the scope of permissible employer comments during an organizing drive, repealed the prohibition on employers to object to unionization and raised the required level of support for automatic certification to 65 percent.

Manitoba Restrictions on scope of bargaining June 1992

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