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

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up

It was the first oppportunity for local Indigenous Nations to participate as observers

Runners hit the streets for Special Olympics

Cranbrook RCMP teamed up with Cranbrook Safeway on Saturday, June 22, for… Continue reading

School board reports January malware attack

Email systems compromised at board office and Fernie Learning Centre, according to memo

Bowen Byram goes fourth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

The Cranbrook native was picked by the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL draft

Residents asked to leave ‘fawn in area’ signs alone

Signs are there for the protection of deer and people

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Thieves steal tents from B.C. school, Grade 7 camping trip happens anyway

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Disaster relief: four tips for coping with wildfires, smoky skies

Being shrouded in smoke or having to flee from wildfires can cause anxiety, stress, depression

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Tiny Yorkshire terrier survives days on remote B.C. island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Greater Victoria for days

Most Read