A committee of special advisers is being appointed to review the Labour Relations Code to ensure British Columbia’s unionized workplaces support fair laws for workers and businesses, and are consistent with the labour rights and protections enjoyed by other Canadians.
Labour Minister Harry Bains appointed the three members of the code review panel, which consists of a chair, a representative of employers and a representative of unions. The appointment of the review panel supports commitments in the 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) with the B.C. Green caucus. The panel is recognized as one more step toward improving fairness for workers.
The panel is tasked with consulting interested stakeholders from all regions of the province, and reporting back to the minister by August 2018, with recommendations on any amendments to the code that will better support a growing, sustainable economy. The panel will also review any recent changes in labour laws in other Canadian jurisdictions to ensure B.C.’s labour code is consistent with best practices elsewhere.
The panel will be chaired by Michael Fleming, a mediator/arbitrator and former associate chair of the BC Labour Relations Board. Two labour and employment lawyers will round out the panel, with Sandra Banister representing union interests, and Barry Dong sitting on behalf of employer interests.
The Labour Relations Code establishes the relationships between labour and management – how workers join unions, how employers and unions interact, and how collective bargaining disputes are resolved. The last comprehensive reviews of B.C.’s labour code took place in 1992 and 2003, and the last substantive amendments were made in 2001 and 2002.