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Province introduces single-step certification for joining a union

The B.C. government is making changes to B.C.’s Labour Relations Code to introduce single-step certification for joining a union.

According to the provincial government, it will enable workers to join a union when a clear majority of employees indicate they want to.

If 55 per cent or more of employees sign union membership cards, a union will be certified with no further vote required.

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen that many people want to make their workplaces safer, provide more input to their work schedules and negotiate better wages and benefits, and they should be able to do this without barriers,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour in a release.

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“The current two-step system can lead to interference in organizing. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, workers who wish to collectively organize must not be impeded in any way.”

However, a secret ballot will need to take place if between 45 per cent and 55 per cent of employees sign union membership cards.

The amendments will also allow construction workers to switch unions every year instead of the previous three years.

The change recognizes that many construction projects may only be one or two years in duration.

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