Libby speaks out against back-to-work legislation

House of Commons
June 16, 2011

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, back-to-work legislation is an unjustified interference of the rights of workers to free collective bargaining.

The government’s failure to address the pension crisis is what’s really at stake here.

The fact is that Conservatives are choosing a side. They are strengthening the position of large employers who want to dismantle defined-benefit pension plans.

Why is the labour minister siding with the dismantlement of pensions?

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Minister of Labour, CPC) :
Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by indicating that the honourable member’s characterization of labour law in Canada is completely incorrect. Also, it is important to note that there are no sides being taken in any kind of legislation that may be put before the House. We are on the side of the economy and of general Canadian interest, because we want these parties to do a deal. If they cannot do a deal, we will help them in the process to do so with the least amount of damage to the Canadian public.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP) :
Mr. Speaker, labour rights do exist in this country and the government’s approach to the current labour disputes wreak of hypocrisy.

The government wants back-to-work legislation, denying workers the right to strike and undermining their capacity to bargain fairly.

In the case of Canada Post, it is a government agency that locked them out. How is that fair negotiation?

Why is the government getting in the middle of a labour dispute and picking winners and losers?