Mar 28, 2018

Labour Code improvements will reduce barriers to workers joining a union and building better lives—CUPE BC

VANCOUVER—Presenting today to the provincial government’s panel of special advisers reviewing the Labour Relations Code, CUPE BC President Paul Faoro and CUPE National Legal Representative Martina Boyd made 12 recommendations to restore balance to the Code.

“On behalf of British Columbia’s largest union, representing more than 87,000 workers across the province, I welcome this review and am pleased to present our recommendations for positive change in the Code,” said Faoro. “For too long the Code has been tilted against working people, making it extremely difficult for workers to join a union. The changes we’re proposing are not radical; they’re common sense proposals that are in place in many other provinces, and it’s way past time that they were adopted here.”

CUPE BC’s submission to the review panel made 12 recommendations, including:

  • Restore Card-Based Certification, granting automatic certification to unions demonstrating more than 50% support from workers in a proposed bargaining unit. Certification votes will be held when applications for certification demonstrate between 40% and 50% support.
  • Reduce the voting period from ten days to three days where a vote is required and expedite the adjudication of any bona fide objections raised in the certification process.
  • Eliminate the use of mail-in ballots except where the parties consent.
  • Extend the statutory “freeze” post-certification until the parties reach a first collective agreement.
  • Institute multi-employer, sectoral certifications (“Broad Based Bargaining”) for traditionally difficult to organize sectors with 50 or fewer employees per worksite.
  • Restore provisions concerning communications such that employer communications are only permissible where they serve a legitimate business purpose.
  • Institute tougher penalties in relation to unfair labour practice violations, including the use of remedial certification.
  • Amend successorship provisions so that the certification follows a transfer of workers and work to reflect the modern realities of contracting, subcontracting, contract flipping, and modern forms of corporate transfer.
  • Repeal “the provision of education” as an essential service.

The review panel will be holding public consultations in a range of communities until April 16. For more information on the review, click here.

To see the full submission from CUPE BC, click here.

COPE 491