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Workers will benefit from B.C. labour code improvements

October 25, 2018

VANCOUVERA report by the provincial government’s Labour Relations Code Review Panel recommends a suite of changes that will give British Columbians more rights at work, according to Unifor.

“The B.C. Liberals stacked the deck against working people for more than a decade,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The Panel overlooked key policies for encouraging higher rates of unionization, and therefore good jobs, but many of the reforms recommended today could help tens of thousands of British Columbians.”

The Panel’s report will be studied by the government to inform future legislation expected in the spring. Unifor welcomes many recommendations in the report, including the proposal to help workers retain their union (“successorship”) when a business changes hands in sectors that have historically been a problem, including janitorial, security, health care, and transportation.

Unifor was disappointed that card-based unionization was absent from the recommendations. It should be noted that panel member Sandra Banister dissented with a strong endorsement of the practice: “…card check certification remains the single most effective mechanism to avoid unlawful employer interference and to ensure employee choice,” (page 13).

Unifor Western Regional Director Joie Warnock echoed Banister’s frustration: “Denying workers access to card-based unionization is a denial of the power of employers to threaten, intimidate, and terminate union organizers and their supporters.”

Warnock noted that the Panel’s own evidence showed that nearly all of the labour code’s employer breaches result from “unlawful termination or communication during organizing drives,” (page 9).

“Big business had the B.C. Liberals in their pocket for the last three terms. Labour Relations Code reform is badly needed to re-balance the workplace power dynamics,” said Warnock.

She added that Unifor will be lobbying MLAs to restore card-based unionization.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).