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Contract Flipping in the Workplace

April 1, 2019

“Daily Double!  When is a Collective Agreement not a Collective Agreement?” “Answer: What is Contract Flipping, Alex!”

This article was originally printed in the Spring 2019 edition of the Union Forum Magazine. 

Imagine purchasing an airline ticket from Deer Lake to Los Angeles to attend a taping of Jeopardy. As you travel on the first leg, the airline sells the next leg of your flight to the highest bidder. You land at your connection with no way to complete your travel and no way to get back home. The flight continues and you are left behind.

It is not acceptable for anyone travelling and therefore there exist airline regulations against it. Just like the airline industry, NL workers need strong regulations for workplaces.

In NL, workers in Collective Agreements working for contractors at industrial sites have no protection from contract flipping at their workplace.

These employees and their contractor employers are forced to operate under the pressure of flimsy contract law that allows International Companies to give 35 days’ notice of their intent to retender the contract with no legal consideration for the timelines of binding collective agreements. And it’s always about paying lower wages for the same work. It destroys the fundamental rights of workers to have protection against this through Collective Bargaining.

The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized Collective Bargaining as a Canadian Constitutional Right. We should not be offside with this Constitutional Right.

It’s time oil and mining companies are held accountable for their actions.

Allowing international companies to continue to operate in this way results in a continuous race to the bottom for NL families.

It’s time for the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to investigate and change these significant contractual incongruities that are so detrimental to NL workers.

We are ready and willing to assist both Ministers in understanding and rectifying discrepancies in Labour Legislation in this Province.

“Alex, I’ll take strong Labour Legislation for $400”.