OTTAWA – Worker’s hopes for strong anti-scab legislation, which has been shown to reduce the length of strikes and confrontation on picket lines, were dealt a blow last night as Liberals joined with Conservatives to ensure the latest bill on that subject died at the first opportunity.

C-396 is the latest in a series of anti-scab bills to have been dealt a death-blow by the Liberals in recent years.

“Once again the Liberals are standing in the way of progress,” John Rafferty said referring to similar anti-scab legislation the Liberals opposed in 2005, 2007 and 2009. “Ignatieff’s Liberals helped kill the legislation before it could even be considered. Given the Liberal record it was not a surprise, but it is still extremely disappointing and a betrayal of hardworking Canadians.”

Other Northern Ontario MPs, Anthony Rota (Liberal), and Greg Rickford (Conservative) voted against the bill which would have banned replacement workers, like those used in the bitter Vale- Inco strike in Sudbury.

“When management brings in replacement workers it creates a toxic environment in the community and destroys the good will that is needed to negotiate in these kinds of disputes,” said Carol Hughes. “I’m very disappointed that these MPs chose to ignore the real value of Anti-Scab measures last night.”

Anti- Scab legislation is not new in Canada. Similar long-standing provincial legislation in B.C and Quebec has meant fewer, shorter and less confrontational labour disputes. With their calculated manoeuvring last night the Liberals showed once again, why workers in Northern Ontario can’t trust them to deliver when the chips are down.