It just got a lot harder to hold a decent-paying job in British Columbia and a lot more unfair in the workplace under the “corporate labour code” introduced by the Campbell Liberals.
“The Campbell government is trying to undermine the labour movement by passing legislation that makes it more difficult to join a union and changing the code to a corporate code, not a labour code,” says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.
The Liberals have introduced legislation that will give employers the right to intimidate workers in a union organizing drive. “This will send a clear message to BC workers: Either heed the employer’s advice or be fired,” O’Neill says. The legislation allows employers to call meetings where workers will be counseled not to join a union.
The Liberals also introduced changes that will make corporate interests the primary interest in BC labour relations.
“These changes will see strife between unions and employers raised to a new high,” says O’Neill. “We’re going back to before the Second World War when unions were forced to break the law to get the government and employers to listen to the concerns of working families.”
Last week at their division convention, CUPE BC members adopted a two-year action plan to confront the Campbell agenda. In votes across the province in the weeks leading up to convention, more than 90 per cent of voting members supported collective action to defend CUPE jobs, collective agreements and communities.
“Our solidarity vote sends a clear message to the Campbell Liberals and any other employer who thinks they can use contract-breaking legislation to run roughshod over workers’ rights,” O’Neill says.
“If you take on one CUPE member, you take on all 67,000 of us.”