In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Columbia government has decided to amend the Labour Relations Code regulations in a manner which may significantly impact union certification drives in the province going forward.
Order in Council 171-2020 amends the Labour Relations Regulation, B.C. Reg 7/93 to provide that union membership cards remain valid for a period of 6 months following the date they are signed. Previously signed cards expired after a period of 90 days.
Union membership cards are the means by which a union shows initial support of employees for purposes of obtaining a representation vote. During a union organizing drive, significant restrictions are placed on employers by virtue of a “statutory freeze” on terms of employment, and the imposition of a “proper cause” standard on discipline and terminations.
By extending card validity to a period of 6 months, employers can expect to experience considerably longer organizing campaigns at their workplaces, and resulting disruptions to business operations.
We will continue to update our clients with information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, COVID-19 related questions, or would like assistance with responding to union organizing campaigns, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, or refer to the Firm’s other COVID-19 website resources.