1998/99 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament
FIRST READING


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


HONOURABLE DALE LOVICK
MINISTER OF LABOUR

BILL 26 -- 1998

LABOUR RELATIONS CODE AMENDMENT ACT, 1998

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 Section 21 (1) of the Labour Relations Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 244, is amended by striking out "a group of employees belongs" and substituting "one or more employees belong".

2 The following Part is added:

Part 4.1 -- Construction Industry Labour Relations

Division 1 -- General Construction Provisions

Definitions

55.1 In this Part:

"bargaining council" means the bargaining council established under section 55.18;

"building trades employer" means a unionized construction employer that has a bargaining relationship with a trade union representing employers in craft bargaining units in ICI construction;

"CLRA" means the Construction Labour Relations Association of B.C. incorporated under the Society Act;

"construction industry" means the employers and employees engaged in the construction, alteration, decoration, repair or demolition of buildings, structures, roads, sewers, water or gas mains, pipelines, dams, tunnels, bridges, railways, canals or other works but does not include those employers and employees engaged in

(a) delivering supplies and materials to a construction project, or

(b) routine maintenance work;

"craft bargaining unit" means a craft unit of employees recognized by the board under this Code or a unit or units in which employees, in the opinion of the board, belong to a craft or group exercising technical or professional skills;

"ICI construction" means construction work performed within the industrial, commercial and institutional components of the construction industry;

"project collective agreement" means a collective agreement negotiated among a trade union or unions, an employer or employer bargaining agent and a project owner or project owners, that is to be effective during the term of a project;

"unionized construction employee" means an employee who is employed by a unionized construction employer and with respect to whom a trade union has established the right to bargain collectively with the unionized construction employer;

"unionized construction employer" means an employer with respect to whom a trade union has established the right to bargain collectively on behalf of unionized construction employees

(a) under this Part or Part 3, or

(b) as a result of the employer having recognized the trade union as the agent to bargain collectively on behalf of those unionized construction employees.

Purposes

55.11 In addition to the purposes referred to in section 2, the purposes of this Part are to

(a) achieve orderly collective bargaining in the construction industry,

(b) establish a labour relations environment conducive to skills development in the construction industry, and

(c) facilitate the implementation of multi-employer and multi-trade collective bargaining for craft bargaining units within ICI construction.

Change in union representation

55.12 For the purposes of section 19 with respect to a change in trade union representation in the construction industry, the seventh and eighth months for an appropriate unit are deemed to be July and August.

Term of agreements

55.13 (1) Subject to sections 55.15 and 55.26, a construction industry collective agreement must be for a term of not more than 3 years.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a project collective agreement may be for a term that ends when the project is completed.

Ratification of voluntarily recognized collective agreements

55.14 On or after the date this section comes into force, a collective agreement entered into by a trade union and a construction employer as a result of the employer having recognized the trade union as the agent to bargain collectively on behalf of a unit of employees has no effect until

(a) a ratification vote has been conducted under this Code and a majority of employees voting have expressed support for accepting the proposed agreement, and

(b) a copy of the agreement is filed with the board under section 51.

Major project collective agreements

55.15 (1) One or more persons who wish to engage in a major project in the construction industry may apply to the minister for the right to bargain collectively and enter into a project collective agreement for the duration of the project.

(2) An application under subsection (1) must be in the form and contain the information required by the minister.

(3) If the minister allows the establishment of a project collective agreement under this section, the collective agreement negotiated by the parties for that project takes precedence over any other collective agreements.

Resolution of jurisdictional disputes

55.16 (1) In this section:

"jurisdictional dispute" means a dispute related to the assignment or distribution of work to trade union members or to workers of a particular trade or craft;

"plan" means the plan for resolving work assignment and other jurisdictional issues established by CLRA and the BC & Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council;

"umpire" means the person appointed under the plan for resolving jurisdictional disputes.

(2) On or after the date this section comes into force, the provisions of the plan are deemed to be a part of every collective agreement negotiated by an employer and a trade union for a craft bargaining unit in the construction industry.

(3) In making a decision respecting assignments and distribution of work, the umpire must consider the practice and experience of the British Columbia construction industry.

(4) The parties to a collective agreement referred to in subsection (2) must comply with the decisions of the umpire.

(5) A decision of the umpire is deemed to be an arbitration award and section 102 applies to the decision.

(6) A trade union must not establish picket lines or engage in a strike because of the employer's or umpire's assignment of work, and a local union must not institute or post picket lines for jurisdictional purposes.

(7) An employer that is a party to a collective agreement referred to in subsection (2) must promptly pay to the trustees of the plan any reasonable fees established by the trustees.

Special arrangements

55.17 If a trade union agrees to amend the terms and conditions of a collective agreement for the purposes of enabling employers' successful bidding of a contract, the trade union must treat all employers bidding on the project in the same way.

Division 2 -- ICI Construction Collective Bargaining

Bargaining council

55.18 (1) Trade unions representing employees in craft bargaining units in ICI construction must establish a bargaining council for the purposes of negotiating collective agreements.

(2) A bargaining council established under subsection (1) is deemed to be a council of trade unions established under section 41 and is authorized to bargain on behalf of its members.

(3) The constitution and bylaws of the bargaining council must be approved and accepted by the board.

(4) If the constitution and bylaws referred to in subsection (3) are not agreed to by the trade unions and approved by the board within 60 days after this section comes into force, the board must, within 150 days after this section comes into force, determine the constitution and bylaws.

Authority to negotiate

55.19 In addition to its other powers under this Part, the bargaining council has the authority to negotiate and bind its members to a project collective agreement.

Construction Labour Relations Association

55.2 (1) CLRA is authorized to bargain on behalf of all unionized construction employers who have a bargaining relationship with a trade union representing employees in craft bargaining units within ICI construction.

(2) Subsection (1) has no effect until the constitution and bylaws of CLRA are approved by the board.

(3) If the constitution and bylaws referred to in subsection (2) are not agreed to by the employers and approved by the board within 60 days after this section comes into force, the board must, within 150 days after this section comes into force, determine the constitution and bylaws.

(4) When the constitution and bylaws are approved by the board they are deemed to be a decision of the board.

Participation by employers

55.21 (1) All employers whose bargaining rights are affected by the operation of section 55.2 have the right to join and participate in CLRA.

(2) An employer is not required to assign to CLRA any bargaining rights not affected by this Division.

Effect of establishment of employer bargaining agency

55.22 (1) All of the collective bargaining rights, duties and obligations of building trades employers with respect to ICI construction vest in CLRA.

(2) A trade union representing employees in craft bargaining units in ICI construction must bargain collectively with CLRA with respect to unionized construction employees that the trade union represents in those units.

(3) Subject to section 55.15, on or after the date on which this section comes into force, a collective agreement that is entered into by a trade union representing craft bargaining units respecting a building trades employer is void if it is made with any person or organization other than CLRA.

Subsequent employer is bound

55.23 (1) Section 55.2 applies to

(a) an employer who subsequently becomes a building trades employer, or

(b) to the extent necessary to give effect to this Part, a unionized construction employer whose employees are represented by a trade union representing craft bargaining units who subsequently becomes engaged in ICI construction.

(2) Despite subsection (1), the parties to a collective agreement must make special collective agreement arrangements that they consider reasonable for newly unionized employers for the purposes of accommodating existing projects of those employers.

(3) If an employer disagrees with arrangements made under subsection (2), the employer may apply to the board for a determination.

Fees

55.24 (1) Every building trades employer referred to in section 55.2 (1) must pay to CLRA contract administration fees that may be set by CLRA.

(2) CLRA must not charge a fee under subsection (1) that is in the board's opinion unreasonable or discriminating.

(3) To facilitate collection of contract administration fees, every building trades employer must provide CLRA with any information that is necessary, in the opinion of CLRA, for the calculation of the contract administration fees that are payable by building trades employers.

Strikes and lockouts

55.25 (1) Unless a lawful lockout has occurred that has not been discontinued for a period of 72 hours, the bargaining council must not declare or authorize a strike without the support of the majority of affected employees and a majority of affected trade unions.

(2) Unless a lawful strike has occurred that has not been discontinued for a period longer than 72 hours, CLRA must not declare or authorize a lockout without the support of the majority of affected employers.

Term of ICI construction collective agreements

55.26 (1) A collective agreement negotiated between the bargaining council and CLRA must be for a 3 year term calculated from May 1 of the first year in which the collective agreement is concluded.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a project collective agreement may be for a term that ends when the project is completed.

Transitional -- regulations

3 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations considered necessary or advisable for the purpose of more effectively bringing into operation Part 4.1 of the Labour Relations Code and to remedy any transitional difficulties encountered in so doing.

(2) Unless earlier repealed, a regulation under this section is repealed one year after it is enacted.

Commencement

4 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

 
Explanatory Notes

SECTION 1: [Labour Relations Code, amends section 21 (1)] allows for the certification of a single person craft bargaining unit.

SECTION 2: [Labour Relations Code, enacts Part 4.1] introduces into the Code a new Part 4.1 dealing with construction industry labour relations. Division 1 contains general provisions relating to the construction industry, while Division 2 provides for the establishment of multi-trade and multi-employer bargaining for the industrial, commercial and institutional component of the construction industry.

SECTION 3: [Transitional -- regulations] allows regulations to be made to remedy transitional difficulties in bringing into operation Part 4.1 of the Labour Relations Code.


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