B.C. Labour Code Changes Could Create Construction Industry Upheaval

(Victoria, May 30, 2022) – The passage of B.C. labour code amendments opens the door to industry wide upheaval at the height of construction season, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) whose membercompanies build major infrastructure and capital projects, employing nearly 10,000 construction workers in B.C.

“While open periods are a legitimate part of collective bargaining, reverting back to one-year open periods invites the instability and turmoil of aggressive union drives,” said Paul de Jong, president of PCA. “It’s no different than holding a political election every year and bringing the entire system to a standstill. Imagine what that does to one of the province’s most important industries.”

The Horgan government is ignoring its own recommendations.In 2019, the B.C. government’s Expert Advisory Panelrecommended both three-year open periods and secret ballots. In its submission to the panel, PCA recommended that open periods be held every three years to strike a more reasonable balance, allowing for adequate representation for workers and a stable, productive workforce for employers. 

B.C. is also reverting back to one-step union certification. 

“The Horgan government is doing away with a secret ballot vote, which is the same system most unions and every level of government in Canada rely on to elect their officials,” added de Jong. “This government, it seems, will stop at nothing to help out its favoured group of union buddies, even if it means stripping away the most basic of worker rights.”

PCA believes the B.C. government has chosen to work against the vast majority of construction workers in the province, 85%of whom have chosen not to affiliate with Horgan’s favoured Building Trades Unions.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

PCA has been a leading voice in construction for more than two decades. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers in Canada, represented primarily by CLAC. 

For further information, contact: 

Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699 

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