Restrictive Labour Laws

Labour Rights Under Attack

226 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.


Title Jurisdiction Type of Legislation Datesort ascending

Public Sector Compensation Restraint Act, 1982 (Bill C-124, June)

The Act legislated away collective bargaining rights of approximately 200,000 public service employees for two years, imposed maximum wage increases of six percent and five percent for a minimum of two years and rolled back signed agreements with increases above those amounts. 

Federal Government Suspension of bargaining rights June 1982

An Act to Ensure Resumption and Continuation of Certain Non-Teaching Services in the Public Service, 1982 (Bill 18, April)

The Act ended a legal strike by two bargaining units of school board support staff.

New Brunswick Back to work - settlement imposed April 1982

Labour-Management Dispute (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1982 (March)

The Act prohibited a strike by hospital employees to take place during a provincial election campaign if the strike created a matter of “pressing public importance” or a danger to public health and safety.

Saskatchewan Restrictions on scope of bargaining March 1982

Health Services Continuation Act, 1982 (Bill 11, March)

The Act ended a strike by nurses employed by the Alberta Hospitals Association and other health care establishments.

Alberta Back to work - settlement imposed March 1982

Employment Development Act, 1982 (Bill 16)

The Act enabled the government to deny workers the right to strike if they worked at sites deemed by the government to be an economic development project.

British Columbia Restrictions on scope of bargaining January 1982

An Act respecting the transit service of the Commission de transport de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal, 1982 (Bill 47, January)

The Act prohibited a strike by transit workers, extended their expired collective agreement and ordered conciliation.

Quebec Back to work - settlement imposed January 1982