Labor likes code changes
Revisions are progressive - Evoy

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 06/96) - Proposed changes to the Canada Labor Code are good news, says the president of the NWT Federation of Labor.

While the revisions do not include a complete ban on replacement workers as was once discussed, the amendments go a long way toward levelling the playing field between employees and companies, Jim Evoy says.

"The proposed revisions will be well-supported by organized labor," he says. "In light of some of the legislation that's been changed provincially, this is a little more progressive than the norm."

One change proposed by Alfonso Gagliano, federal minister of labor, gives the labor board the power to ban the use of replacement workers in instances where unfair labor practices are proved against an employer.

Another change would see the labor board become more representative of employers and employees.

There are also proposals to streamline the collective bargaining process.

"Generally that will help to speed up any disputes and that will help the communities," Evoy says. "We don't want to go through two or three year strikes."

While labor may like the changes, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce reportedly said the revisions go too far.

The NWT uses Part 1 of the Canada Labor Code to govern labor relations. The last changes to this part of the code took place about 20 years ago.

The proposed changes are the culmination of the work of a task force set up more than a year ago to review Part 1 of the code.

The revisions have to approved by Ottawa before becoming law.