Building Trades encouraged by Labour Relations Code review panel recommendations

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The BC Building Trades is encouraged by today's release of recommended changes to the Labour Relations Code, but remains hopeful for a construction-sector only review

The BC Building Trades welcomes the BC Government’s review of recommended amendments to the Labour Relations Code.

“Although the review panel did not accept all of the recommendations we submitted, we are encouraged by many of the amendments being proposed,” said BC Building Trades executive director Tom Sigurdson.

Sigurdson lauds the recommendation to review the Labour Code through a transparent, public consultation process at least every five years. He notes that until today, the code hadn’t been fully reviewed in more than 25 years.

While disappointed the review panel did not recommend eliminating the secret ballot process, which is redundant given it takes place after employees have already voted for certification through a card-check system, Sigurdson is pleased the panel recommended reducing the time required for certification and revocation votes to take place from 10 days to five days.

He’s also encouraged by a statement in the panel’s report acknowledging that if these enhanced measures to protect employee choice fail, “there will be a compelling argument for a card check system.”

Sigurdson remains hopeful for a construction-sector only Labour Relations Code review, which was one of the recommendations put forward by the BC Building Trades during the initial consultation process.

“A labour code review was one of the first orders of business of the NDP government upon taking office last year, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the fair treatment of B.C. workers,” said Sigurdson.

Highlights of the BC Building Trades’ recommendations on behalf of the 40,000 men and women in the unionized construction sector:

  • The Labour Relations Board must be properly funded.
  • Provide clarity on the definition of a common employer to prohibit double-breasting. Employers are currently able to manipulate existing certifications by reorganizing their corporate structure and abandoning their contractual obligations.
  • Re-open collective agreements after successful raids.  Under current law, unions that successfully raid inherit the substandard agreement for the life of the agreement.
  • Undemocratic/employer-dominated “unions” should be disqualified from certifying workers.
  • Stop employer intimidation when workers exercise their right to join legitimate unions. Employers control the workplace and can require employees to attend meetings to speak against union organizing campaigns.
  • Conduct a separate review of the construction industry. Our industry had such a review in 1997, which resulted in an amendment to the Labour Code in 1998.That legislation provided for a rational and balanced system of collective bargaining in the construction industry. We continue to advocate that our industry is unique and deserves a dedicated and focused review.

Read the government news release, with links to the full report, here.

For More Information: 

Contact the BC Building Trades office
(778) 397-2220

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