Where do the parties stand on labour issues?

April 24, 2001

The B.C. Liberals didn't ignore the labour movement in their party platform released Monday. It would have been preferable if they had, however. The promises unveiled in their election platform are designed mostly to reduce workers' rights.

Here's some excerpts straight from the party platform. Be sure to read between the lines:

- "Restore workers' democratic right to a secret ballot vote on any proposed union certification."

- "Give all workers a fair and equal chance to compete for work on taxpayer-funded projects through the restoration of open tendering on public sector contracts."

- "... outlawing sectoral bargaining."

- "Give workers and employers greater flexibility in Employment Standards..."

- "Appoint an independent task force to review the options, models, costs and effectiveness of private sector pay equity legislation, and to make recommendations to the Legislature."

- "Eliminate the NDP's 'fixed wage' policy..."

- "Restore balance to the Labour Code by ensuring the same rules apply for certification and de-certification."

The NDP boasts of its record on bringing labour peace to B.C. and raising the minimum wage. The incumbent party does not plan to review pay equity, but implement it.

Excerpts from the NDP platform:

"We will expand pay equity - equal pay for work of equal value - by enshrining this right in the B.C. Human Rights Code. Pay equity is already in place for the provincial government. It will be extended to municipalities and the private sector. Wage discrimination based on gender must be ended."

On labour-management relations, the NDP says:

- "A balanced approach to labour-management relations has cut in half the time lost due to strikes and lockouts. We will ensure BC's successful Labour Code remains balanced, and doesn't give unfair advantage to either side. We will continue to improve the Code and strengthen free collective bargaining by helping new bargaining units and newly-certified employers reach a first contract."

- "B.C. has the highest minimum wage in Canada. The Dosanjh government will continue to monitor and increase it so young workers and the working poor don't fall behind. We will increase the minimum wage to $8 an hour on Nov. 1, 2001."

The provincial election is on May 16.



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