B.C. contractors fight mandatory unions
September 5, 2018
The affordability aspect of BC NDP government’s ambitious $6 billion plan to build 14,000 units of social housing could be jeopardy because, under a new NDP regulation, all government construction must be done by union members, according to independent contractors.
While the regulation applies to public projects worth $100 million or more, it could potentially include large-scale social-housing initiatives.
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) has filed a petition in BC Supreme Court asking that the building trades’ union-only hiring model for taxpayer-funded construction projects be struck down.
According to the ICBA, 85 per cent of British Columbia’s construction workers are not part of a union recognized by the government or have no union affiliation.
Joining the petition are organizations that, along with ICBA, represent the construction workers in B.C. who are not affiliated with the building trades unions: the British Columbia Construction Association; the Vancouver Regional Construction Association; and the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada.
In addition, two unions representing thousands of construction workers in B.C. who are not affiliated with the building trades unions—the Christian Labour Association of Canada and Canada West Construction Union—are supporting the legal challenge.
Also participating are the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.