The BCGEU supports many of the recommendations put forward yesterday by the independent, three-person Labour Relations Code Review Panel appointed by Labour Minister Harry Bains earlier this year.
"Our submission to the panel asked that balance and fairness be restored to the B.C. Labour Relations Code and Labour Relations Board," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "We believe the recommendations go a long way toward achieving that balance, but they don't go far enough."
The BCGEU supports recommendations related to the constitutionally protected right of workers to unionize, including:
- Ensuring certification votes are conducted within five business days
- Restricting the use of mail ballots
- Reversing the 'employer free speech' provisions that allow employers to bully and intimidate workers
- Extending the validity of membership cards from 90 days to 6 months
The union is also in favour of recommendations regarding expedited arbitration, and changes in successorship language to end 'contract-flipping'. However, we're dissatisfied this particular proposal doesn't include food service workers, such as the hundreds we represent at BC Place.
What's also disappointing is no expansion of sectoral certification and re-introducing multi-employer certification. These are the only avenues to unionize vulnerable workers, such as women and persons of colour, in home child care. The recommendation against 'card check' is also discouraging, as is the continuation of picketing restrictions.
The BCGEU has 77,000 members in a variety of sectors and occupations in more than 550 bargaining units throughout B.C. We're a fast-growing union, and one of the most active when it comes to organizing non-union employees. We have a separate organizing department, and often appear at the Labour Relations Board. As such, we have special insight into the certification, unfair labour practice, collective bargaining and strike and lockoutprovisions of the code.