Wab Kinew’s NDP government announces plan to introduce card check and anti-scab legislation

March 19, 2024

Yesterday was a historic day for our movement!

Premier Wab Kinew and Minister of Labour and Immigration Malaya Marcelino announced their government’s plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that Manitoba’s unions have been fighting for over the last fifty years – single step union certification set at 50 per cent +1 (card check) and a ban on scabs. With these two bills, Wab Kinew’s NDP government will move Manitoba forward by re-balancing our labour laws and helping workers get bigger paycheques, greater job security, and safer workplaces.

It makes a difference to have a Premier and a provincial government who are looking out for the hardworking people of Manitoba by bringing in new protections to ensure that they are treated with respect and dignity on the job.

Shamefully, the introduction of the bills was stalled by delay tactics from the opposition PCs, who are clearly hell bent on doing everything they can to slow this pro-union legislation down. It is clear that the PCs and Manitoba’s business lobby are gearing up to prevent these bills from passing into law. Manitoba’s unions have been fighting for these bills for decades. Let’s keep pushing over the next few months to get them across the finish line and make card check and anti-scab the law here in Manitoba! As Minister Marcelino said yesterday: “this legislation will pass.”

Manitoba’s unions have been clear that workers need to be protected from employer threats and intimidation when they are trying to organize a union at their workplace. Workers know what they’re doing and they know what they want. If a majority of workers sign a union application card, they should get a union.

And Manitoba employers are using replacement workers more and more. Seven of the last eight full strikes in Manitoba have seen the use of replacement workers, including the CUPE strike continuing on at Ten Ten Sinclair. It isn’t fair that employers can replace workers who are on strike or locked out and just carry on like business as usual. We are thrilled to see the Kinew government righting this historic wrong and taking action to ban scab labour here in our province.

We will be sure to keep you up to date on these bills, including when they get officially introduced in the Legislative Assembly, and how they move forward.