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B.C. Supreme Court to hear case on Community Benefit Agreements

Last Updated Jul 24, 2019 at 11:47 am PST

BC Supreme Court in Vancouver
Summary

The Christian Labour Association is one of the many labour groups in the coalition taking the issue to court

Bruce says the agreements are unfair because they penalize some workers because they don't work for specific unions

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The B.C. Supreme Court is going to hear a case that could put an end to a provincial government policy that critics say favours some unions over others.

Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) are social requirements for public tendering that prioritize proposals that offer local jobs, public space improvement and are community defined. Labour groups that oppose CBAs have taken their complaints to the Supreme Court.

Ryan Bruce with the Christian Labour Association of Canada says it isn’t fair that Victoria can use CBAs to deny certain unions and all non-union workers the opportunity to work on big projects like upgrades to Highway 1 in the Interior. Bruce says everyone should have a shot at working on government projects.

“We’ve been building some of B.C.’s biggest public infrastructure projects over the last number of years and that opportunity, through a fair and open tendering process, should be available to our members and our signatories just as anybody else.”

He says the agreements are unfair because they penalize some workers simply because they don’t work for specific unions.

“And for the government to tell them that they have to either choose a different union or force them to join a different union or not work on these projects, our members are saying ‘That’s just not fair.'”

The Christian Labour Association is one of the many labour groups in the coalition taking the issue to court.