PCA and CLAC Campaign Shows Where Parties Stand on Workers’ Rights

Victoria (October 20, 2020)The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) and its labour partner CLAC are putting the Horgan government’s costly and regressive CBA policy, front and centre in the B.C. election campaign through a grassroots campaign that makes it clear where each candidate stands.

“There’s nothing fair or right about a government policy that shuts the vast majority of B.C. construction workers out of building taxpayer funded projects,” said Ryan Bruce, CLAC’s B.C. Manager of Government Relations. “Now is the time for candidates to come clean, and be upfront about whether they support the rights of all workers, or just the NDP’s chosen few.”

The campaign encourages British Columbia workers to reach out to candidates in each of the province’s 87 ridings, asking whether they support the rights of workers and all British Columbians to build publicly funded infrastructure projects without having to change their existing union affiliation. To date, the B.C. Green Party has not taken a position, the Liberals would scrap CBAs, and the New Democrats plan to expand CBAs to cover more projects.

“All British Columbians are paying a heavy price for a jaded policy that unnecessarily raises the cost of key public infrastructure projects by hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Paul de Jong, president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “Our campaign is aimed at raising public awareness about a terrible piece of public policy that impacts every voter in this province.”

Right now, only the Horgan government’s favoured Building Trades Unions are allowed to build key public projects. All workers must join and pay dues to the BTUs, even though they represent just 15 percent of B.C.’s construction workforce.  

Under this labour scheme, the cost of several major public projects including the Pattullo Bridge Replacement project and four laning of a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway are more than $400 million over original estimates; a cost that will be passed on to B.C. taxpayers.

PCA and CLAC, along with British Columbia’s largest construction associations and progressive unions have called on the Horgan government to scrap its restrictive labour policy.

To learn more, about the PCA/CLAC campaign, go to: https://protectworkersrights.ca

About CLAC

Formed in 1952, CLAC is a national union representing over 60,000 workers in almost every sector of the economy. Based on values of respect, dignity, and fairness, CLAC is committed to building better workplaces, better communities, and better lives. CLAC is a founding member of Canada Works and an affiliated member of the World Organization of Workers.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

With offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario, PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. 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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