Single-step certification removes barriers, ensures workers’ statute right to organize: BCFED

April 6, 2022 | News Release

The BC Federation of Labour today welcomed the news that working people in BC will soon have access to single-step union certification.

“Right now, BC is at the back of the pack in Canada, with labour laws that create unnecessary barriers to organizing,” said BCFED President Laird Cronk. “This change will remove those barriers and make it achievable for workers to join together and negotiate fair working conditions in their workplace.”

Instead of BC’s current multi-stage process, the provincial government will return to a system that certifies the workers’ choice to join or form a union when at least 55 per cent of a workplace’s employees sign cards saying they wish to do so.

“This is the recognition of a fundamental right for workers. The federal government, three provinces and the territories all have a similar system, and it’s working well,” Cronk said.

“Making it achievable for workers who want a union to organize will be good for everyone,” BCFED Secretary-Treasurer Sussanne Skidmore added.

“Collective bargaining puts workers and employers on a level playing field, and a collective agreement provides clarity and stability in the workplace. Union collective agreements help to reduce poverty, ensure family- and community-supporting jobs, and deliver stable working conditions.”

Cronk added the current system includes unnecessary barriers to organizing, with delays that all too often result in worker intimidation and reprisals. “Single-step certification removes those barriers, helping to protect workers’ Charter and statute right to organize,” he said.

“We’ve seen during Covid just how big the gaps and cracks are in workplace protection, and those gaps are widest for the lowest-paid, most vulnerable workers,” Cronk said. “Single-step certification allows workers to organize and close those gaps. As our province recovers from the pandemic, this is an opportunity to rebuild a fairer economy that works for everyone.”