December 3, 2020
OTTAWA – Today, New Democrats presented a package of bills to protect and improve the lives of working Canadians. MP Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain) introduced the bills, which will protect workers in the event of a strike or a lockout and also protect the pensions and benefits of workers caught up in corporate bankruptcy proceedings.
“Both of the bills I introduced today will offer workers the protection this Liberal government has been promising for years but has failed to deliver,” said Duvall. “It’s about time this government stood up for Canadian workers and their families, instead of shielding their well-connected friends.”
Bill C-258 would enhance protections for employees governed by the Canada Labour Code in the event of a strike or lockout, guaranteeing their right to collective bargaining.
“When employers hire scab replacement workers during a strike or lockout, it’s unfair to workers and undermines their right to bargain collectively,” Duvall said. “This bill is an opportunity for the Liberal government to implement the same kind of provisions that already exist in provinces like Quebec and British Columbia and show leadership at the federal level.”
The other part of the package introduced today by Duvall was Bill C- 259, legislation that would protect the pensions and benefits already earned by workers and retirees.
Under current legislation, large corporations are using Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and divert it to pay off their secure creditors. Duvall’s bill would fix the legislation in order to protect workers’ pensions and benefits, and force companies to provide termination and severance pay before secured creditors get paid.
“Pensions and benefits earned by workers are deferred wages, plain and simple, and anything that denies workers what they have earned should be illegal”, said Duvall. “Workers fulfilled their obligation regarding their pension and benefits and employers must to do the same. This is about fairness for workers.”
“This new bill includes provisions to help prevent companies with deficits in their pension plans from handing out dividends or share buybacks to their shareholders,” Duvall explained. “The Liberals recently made changes they said would provide corporate transparency, but like many things the Liberals do, they were cosmetic at best. My bill will strengthen the law and help prevent the kind of asset stripping we all witnessed with the Sears bankruptcy.”
The bills introduced today will help build an economy that lifts everyone up, not just the wealthy and well connected. The NDP will continue to fight for a Canada that works for everyone and will make sure corporations and multinationals can’t steal the pensions and benefits their workers and retirees have earned.
Media contact: Charlotte MacLeod, 613-296-3923
NDP press release