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
[email protected]

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

Homeless count is coming to the Fraser Valley to help track the numbers

Training Feb. 27 in Chilliwack to help volunteers adopt respectful and compassionate approach

Mya Onos gears up for B.C. Winter Games

The decorated speed skater starts competing Friday

REAL ESTATE: The affordability crisis within the BC land market

Real estate columnist Freddy Marks says new buyers are outside looking in with B.C.’s high market

UPDATE: ‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Most Read