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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local shares his story of life and death on the St. Mary River

Aric Keane hopes sharing his story will show that even with experience, the river can be dangerous

Kootenay Savings donates to regional health care initiatives

Kootenay Savings has donated $20,000 to health care efforts amid the COVID-19… Continue reading

Compound 1080 confirmed in dog deaths in Gold Creek area

Pathologist believes the poisoning was secondary

Farm life: Planning and preserving, a time of transition

Over the coming weeks many plants will be pulled from my garden and replaced with cool weather crops

Masks4Canada group reiterates call for mask mandate

Walmart Canada and BC Transit have made masks mandatory

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read