VICTORIA, B.C. — Ending the pendulum swings that have defined labour policy the past 30 years is a priority for the B.C. Greens, and the proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Code are a step towards reaching that balance while also enhancing important protections for workers.
“British Columbians deserve to expect certainty and stability in labour policy, which is what our caucus has advocated all along,” said B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. “For the past 30 years, labour policy in B.C. has been defined by pendulum swings between Liberal and NDP governments. Thorough our consultations with government, we made clear that progressive changes are needed to protect workers through moderate, evidence-based policy adjustments.
“The expert review panel made balanced and thoughtful recommendations on updating the labour code that are reflected in this legislation. Retaining the secret ballot while shortening the time frame for votes from ten to five business days, and enacting stronger protections against employer interference, is a reasonable path forward to maintain balance in workplaces and ensure workers are protected as they exercise their choice.”
The B.C. Green caucus supports other significant provisions of this legislation, which take important steps forward to better protect workers and ensure balance in workplaces. These include:
- Extending successorship provisions to protect workers in building cleaning/janitorial services, security services, bus transportation services, non-clinical health care services, and food services;
- Reducing the disruption caused by frequent raids by modifying the open periods;
- Removing education as an essential service.
“We think this legislation strikes the right balance and therefore better able to ensure fairness and balance in workplaces, which is in the interest of both workers and employers,” Weaver said.
These amendments are necessary adjustments to existing labour law, but they fail to address the more fundamental challenges facing the economy.
“Unfortunately, what continues to be missing from the conversation is a focus on how we can adapt our labour laws to support people grappling with the changing nature of work,” Weaver said. “From increases in precarious, gig-based jobs, to the increasing use of contractors instead of employees, British Columbians are dealing with huge changes to job stability and income security, and our laws aren’t keeping up.”
The B.C. Green caucus consults with government to improve fairness for workers and ensure balance in the workplace as part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
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