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

Rockies earn weekend overtime win

Catch the Rockies at home this Friday, October 25th

Fuel and copper wire thefts in Columbia Valley

Columbia Valley RCMP report October 7-13th

Stabbing in Radium leads to high-risk takedown

Two men arrested in relation to attack

Volunteers wanted for housing task force

District of Invermere seeks range of participants for study

Former Liberal candidate endorses Greens in Kootenay-Columbia

Don Johnston says he’ll be voting for Abra Brynne on Oct. 21

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Feud with Canada Post causes Grasmere Post Office to close its doors

Grasmere Post Office will close Oct. 31, building owners unable to reach agreement with Canada Post

The science in our front yard

A micro ethnography of Windermere water scientists

Cowichan Valley brothers win big in lottery for second time

Playing same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Sentencing date set for Vancouver Island father convicted of killing his two daughters

Andrew Berry was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder last month

B.C. woman finds mysterious coin among Grandma’s collection

Grandmother died when she was very young and her past is not well known to her mother

Most Read