B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says he can’t support the NDP plan to allow construction union raids every summer, B.C. legislature, May 28, 2019. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Liberals, Greens team up to defeat NDP construction raid plan

Allowing union takeovers every summer went against expert advice

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver sided with opposition MLAs Tuesday to reject an NDP government plan allowing construction union raids every summer.

The three-member Green caucus helped defeat the construction raiding plan, which targeted independent unions such as the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) that have made inroads into traditional closed-shop work sites for large construction in B.C. CLAC and its affiliated contractors have a majority of work on the Trans Mountain pipeline project, awaiting final approval by the federal government.

The NDP government appointed an expert panel to advise on changes to the Labour Relations Code last year, and it recommended that union raids only be allowed after a contract has been allowed to work for three years. Labour Minister Harry Bains made an exception for construction, arguing that some construction jobs don’t last three years.

RELATED: B.C. union rules could create ‘battle zone’ in big construction

RELATED: ‘Progressive’ contractors call for share of public construction

Weaver said he considered the fact that B.C. and Yukon Building Trades unions have no-raid agreements with each other, and the emergence of new unions that dispose of traditional craft lines between jobs. He called on the government to do a thorough review of construction labour in B.C.

Weaver said the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers (CMAW) and others are “end-to-end project unions” that are “looking for a fair and level playing field.

“That’s exactly what we’re looking for, one that’s grounded in evidence, not in ideology,” Weaver said.

Former premier Christy Clark imposed an open-shop labour agreement on the Site C dam being constructed in northeast B.C., the first ever B.C. Hydro project not to have an exclusive deal with the Building Trades. The main civil works contract was won by a consortium called Peace River Hydro Partners, with CLAC as their main union.

Ryan Bruce, CLAC’s B.C. manager of government relations, said three Building Trades unions staged an unsuccessful raid at the Site C project in 2017, meeting employees at Fort St. John airport and following them to the work camp.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Burns Lake local events

Garden Fresh Nutrition Workshop Jess Hart, Holistic Nutritionist, will lead a garden… Continue reading

Masked bandit spotted in Burns Lake

A raccoon was found dead on Highway 16, about three kilometres east… Continue reading

Pave the way for Burns Lake

Labourers work on the downtown portion of the Highway 16 repaving project.… Continue reading

Men charged with assault on Southside

Two men face charges following a violent incident on the Southside on… Continue reading

Skater breaks collarbone at potholed skatepark

A Burns Lake teenager broke his collarbone after wiping out on a… Continue reading

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read