B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Black Press Media)

B.C. NDP keeps secret ballot vote for union certifications

Labour code changes aim to protect workers from contract flipping

The B.C. government has opted to keep secret ballot votes in union certifications, but is moving to make union organizing easier.

Labour Minister Harry Bains introduced amendments to the Labour Relations Code Tuesday that he says will protect employees who are joining a union or are facing a change of employer through contract flipping.

B.C. remains one of a minority of Canadian provinces to require a secret vote to certify a union, rather than the “card check” policy that allows unions to sign up more than 50 per cent of potential members. The changes reduce the time it takes for certification to be determined from 10 days to five business days, and the Labour Relations Board has increased ability to order a certification if it finds evidence of employer misconduct.

Bains said his preference was to move to a card-check system, but B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver was opposed, so he accepted that position, which was also the majority view of his expert panel.

READ MORE: Keep secret ballot for union certification, experts advise

READ MORE: Businesses concerned about restrictions on contract jobs

Contract flipping to a new employer has been a feature of senior care facilities for many years, with some employees having to re-apply multiple times for the same job as employers change. The amendments are designed to preserve successorship rights for those employees, and those of security services and bus transportation services. The amendments also extend successorship rights to food services contractors.

The legislation also aims to restrict the ability of one union to “raid” another to sign up its members, as the B.C. Nurses’ Union absorbed licensed practical nurses in 2012.

It adds a provision to restrict raids in the construction industry to the summer, to avoid efforts to convince members to switch unions during the winter when construction activity and membership is low.

The changes also remove the automatic essential services designation for schools. Bains said B.C. was the only province with that provision, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2015 that employees have a constitutional right to collective bargaining.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mary’s British Home store closes in Langley City

Owner says store has been struggling since it relocated from Richmond

VIDEO: Surrey care workers hold demonstration of solidarity with Langley Lodge

‘We thought we would come out and show them some support and cheer them on’

UPDATE: One person dead, two in critical condition after Highway 1 collision in Langley

A man and woman were taken to hospital in critical condition

20 dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

There were two new cases detected, according to the Lodge’s update

Local investors win lawsuit against Murrayville House builder

Two companies have been ordered to pay $275,000 in damages

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read