Canada’s unions celebrate B.C. card check law to empower workers

June 3, 2022

Bruske: It’s about fairness. Premier Horgan’s government enacts critical law to support working people

VICTORIA, B.C. – Canada’s unions celebrate an important milestone today as a new law in British Columbia, to return automatic certification to the province, received royal assent.

Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, was in the B.C. legislature to witness the legislation becoming law.

“Signing a union card is the best way for workers to improve their working lives. I am delighted to be here in Victoria to welcome this critical piece of labour legislation as it officially becomes the law,” said Bruske. “Congratulations to Premier John Horgan for his government’s leadership on empowering and supporting working people.”

Bruske pointed out that for decades, governments have moved to ban automatic certification, even in cases where 100 percent of the workers in a bargaining unit demonstrated their support by signing union cards. These moves have coincided with a troubling decline in unionization rates.

“Employers routinely pressure workers not to join a union, threatening to close the business, lay-off employees or withhold promotions and other opportunities,” continued Bruske. “The reality is, showing your support for a union by signing a membership card is democratic. If you have majority support, there’s no reason you should be forced to repeat the process and give employers more time to unduly pressure workers.”

Bruske added that it is critical for workers to have the support of a union and a collective voice at their workplace. This leads to better health and safety, higher morale and less employee turnover.

“Being part of a union and having a collective agreement means stability, predictability and better conditions for workers. This strengthens our communities and benefits our economy,” concluded Bruske. “We urge provincial governments across the country to follow B.C.’s lead and pass laws that make the process fairer for workers to join unions.”

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