B.C.’s Labour Relations Code regulates the relationships between employees represented by organized labour, their unions, and, management in the province. These amendments are expected to pass the legislature and become law this spring.
RCC strongly supports the use of the secret ballot under the Labour Relations Code. There was considerable discussion about moving back to a card-check certification process: RCC is pleased that Government has chosen to respect and maintain the secret ballot.
Successor rights and obligations
The Government will extend successorship protection to organized workers in specific areas: building cleaning and janitorial services; security services; bus transportation services; and, food services. The legislation would also allow the government to further extend successor rights and obligations by regulatory amendment. This will impact retailers who contract out for services in these areas.
[To define successorship for those unfamiliar with the concept: employees would retain their jobs and the union contract would remain in force when the workplace was transferred from one contractor to the next.]
The legislation provides the Labour Relations Board with the ability to impose union certification when an employer is found to have unduly interfered with the certification process. The Government will also shorten the time requirement between an application for union certification and an employee vote from 10 days to 5 business days.
There are significant amendments to provisions where one union “raids” a workplace organized by another union: our concern surrounding these amendments is that they may decrease stability in those circumstances and potentially undermine employers’ hard work to build strong relationships with their workforces.
The legislation makes less substantive changes to: the definition of picket and picketing; to industry councils; and, to the section 8 right to communicate.
RCC will monitor the progress of debate and discussion on the amendments. RCC will work with other business stakeholders to communicate our dissatisfaction regarding changes to the successorship provisions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (British Columbia) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-736-0368.