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Wet’suwet’en protests at worksites – information for members - BCGEU

Over the last week we have seen protests in support of the Wet'suwet'en people take place around the province, across the country, and around the world. These protests continue to escalate around the province.

While we support the rights of protest guaranteed by the Charter, we are not affiliated with these protests. The safety and well-being of our members is of paramount importance.

Here's what you need to know if you encounter a protest at your worksite 

  • Under their collective agreement and the Charter, members have the right not to cross a picket line. 
  • Members have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your steward or area office.
  • Members should not confront protestors or place themselves at any risk.
  • Members who encounter picket lines at their worksite should immediately contact their steward or area office for accurate information about how to proceed.
  • Should picket lines go up, your union will not likely be in a position to determine their legality at that time. However, picket lines should be assumed to be legal unless we are informed otherwise.
  • The BCGEU Provincial Executive has approved picket pay for members who are unable to attend work due to a picket line at their worksite if they are not paid by their employer. 
  • In the event that you are unable to work due to protests at your worksite and are not being paid by your employer for missed hours, please complete this online form to apply for picket pay:

I want to thank all of you who have contacted me, Paul or any other BCGEU member to seek advice. It's critical that members are fully informed when deciding how to act and react during these protests and your union is here to help!

In solidarity,

Stephanie Smith