Steelworkers urge all-party support for NDP bills to protect people and the planet

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers union (USW) fully supports two private member’s bills introduced in the House of Commons today by NDP MPs Heather Macpherson and Peter Julian.

“These two ground-breaking bills are a progressive response to a recurring pattern of violations of workers’ rights and human rights linked to Canadian companies in their global operations and supply chains,” said Marty Warren, USW National Director.

“We join with the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability in welcoming these bills and urging all-party support and swift passage,” Warren said.

With these bills Canadian companies would be required to proactively consider how human rights are affected by their global operations, and take steps to avoid harming rights. When rights are harmed, workers and communities outside Canada will have effective tools to make their voices heard and to find redress.

In 2018, the Liberal government pledged that its new Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) would have strong investigatory powers required to fully investigate allegations of human rights abuses linked to Canadian corporate activity abroad. But that has not happened, human rights, labour and environmental groups say.

“Bill C-263 offers the Liberal government an opportunity to make good on its 2018 commitment to a human rights ombudsperson with teeth. The Liberal government’s backsliding on the CORE’s powers has been deeply troubling. We are excited that there is now legislation in the House that can finally and fully establish an ombudsperson that workers and communities have been asking for,” Warren said.

View the NDP news release on the private member’s bills

View the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability’s response to the two bills

Sign the CNCA’s petition to show your support for a people and planet first approach to business


For further information:

Meg Gingrich, Assistant to the USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Doug Olthuis, USW Global Affairs, 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca
Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 647-522-1630, dstpierre@usw.ca

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