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.

Just Posted

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Chilliwack car show cancelled due to weather forecast

Popular Village Classic car show will not be rescheduled, say organizers

Agassiz author pens a kingly book

Long-time writer and producer Alexander Hamilton-Brown just finished his first novel

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

Most Read