Updating the BC Labour Code

British Columbia’s Labour Code is important to every worker in B.C.IUOE Local 115 BC Place 2010

The Labour Code answers a fundamental question: do workers have the right to band together into unions to bargain with their employer?

Depending on the way the Code is written, the answer is sometimes yes, and sometimes no.

The Labour Code developed by the BC Liberals is tilted toward employers who want to keep unions out. In February 2018, the NDP government announced a review of the Labour Code. They invited citizens to provide input in writing and in person.

IUOE Local 115 provided a submission to the Labour Code Review Panel on March 19, 2018, making these proposals, among others:

  • A return to card based certifications: this will allow employees the freedom to choose to belong to a Union without employer interference.
  • A restriction on employer interference in certification drives (restore former Sections 6 & 8): our union has undertaken many organizing drives which have been defeated by an aggressive employer campaigns against the Union.
  • Limits on the ability to contract below Employment Standards minimums: the continued ability for disreputable unions and employers to contract below employment standards minimums negatively impacts the efforts of legitimate employers and union.
  • A prohibition on “partial decertification”which is used by employers to divide groups of workers and which is conceptually inconsistent with the Union’s obligation to represent bargaining units as a whole.

In its submission, IUOE Local 115 also called for an independent review of construction labour relations, given the special nature of a construction industry where workers are mobile, work is project-based, and employers are grouped together in shifting patterns.

Union representatives appeared before the Review Panel during their round of consultations, sharing our experience with the Labour Code and responding to questions.

Our union, and other Building Trades unions, will continue to meet with government representatives and work for a Labour Code that is fair, consistent and balanced.