Files for BC's Minister of Labour Harry Bains

40 posts / 0 new
Last post
Files for BC's Minister of Labour Harry Bains

Reinstate a card check system.

Weaver is wrong about the secret ballot and union certification, says SFU professor


Get rid of tipping! 

Minimum Wage $15 for everyone including alcohol servers.



Trudeau governments record no better than the dismal record of the Harper government


True to his / their word Labour Minister Harry Bains and the BC NDP deliver on another election promise in an appropriate mannner.

B.C. NDP commits to raising minimum wage to $15 by 2021

Labour Minister Harry Bains says a fair wages commission will be established to plan how to raise the rate without hurting businesses.

A 50-cent increase announced by the previous Liberal government was already slated to bring the wage to $11.35 per hour as of Sept. 15.

Bains says that increase will go ahead as planned, benefiting about 94,000 minimum-wage workers.

Alberta will be the first province to offer $15 per hour when the rate increases next year, while Ontario plans to reach that rate in 2019.


B.C. to raise minimum wage by 50 cents an hour

Labour Minister Harry Bains said the fall increase that’ll put the minimum hourly wage at $11.35 was a

commitment by the previous Liberal government that the NDP will honour and implement, but that it’s just a “stepping stone” towards the goal of $15 an hour. 

“Raising the minimum wage is only one way the new government will make life more affordable for British Columbians, but it’s an important start,” said Bains.

The government will also raise the liquor servers’ wage by $0.50 to $10.10 an hour.

The Sept. 15 increase will bump B.C. from the seventh-highest rate in Canada to the third-highest among provinces. 

“We’ve listened to business owners and workers, and we recognize the need for a gradual strategy for increasing minimum wage, a timeline to allow employers to adapt,” said Bains. 

He also announced a plan to establish a Fair Wages Commission that will consult with stakeholders to “find a pathway” to a $15 an hour wage and produce recommendations on how to continue on from 2021, including strategies to bridge the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage, pegged at $20.62 an hour in Metro Vancouver.

The NDP promised in the election campaign to move towards a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021, with increases each year. Once it reaches $15 an hour, the NDP has said it would index the rate to inflation so it will keep rising with the economy.

The government announcement Tuesday did not specify the timeline of the gradual implementation over the next four years to $15 an hour.

Bains said the government is still working on the commission’s terms of reference, as well as its staffing and budget. He expects the commission to be established in the coming weeks. The commission’s first report will be within 90 days.


Kudos to Bains and the NDP for including BC citizens as opposed to the Liberals approach which was always kowtowing to the big corporate interests only.  

How refreshing to have Labour back at the decision-making table after having been cut out of the loop for such a long time by the likes of Stephen Harper and Christy Clark. 

Mr. Magoo

It would appear, from what you've posted, that the BCNDP is simply doing what the Liberals promised to do, and anything more is just new promises.

But even so, you criticize the previous government who made that promise in the first place, while hero-worshipping the new government who's doing absolutely NOTHING more.


What nonsense

BC could have a $15 minimum wage by 2019


A Labour Day Wish List for the NDP

Union leaders and workers’ advocates set nine goals for a new government facing an ‘enormous amount of work to do.’


‘We Have Work to Do’: BC’s New Labour Minister

Harry Bains on protecting workers, the path to fairer wages, and working with ‘our Green friends.’


New Labour Minister Harry Bains says his first priority is the safety of British Columbian workers.

Temporary foreign worker registry on the way

The government also announced plans last month to create a registry of temporary foreign workers similar to those already in use in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“My intention is that we can make sure that there’s no exploitation, there’s no abuse of their rights. That if they feel that their rights are being not protected that they have an avenue to have it addressed,” he said.

The registry, he said, would also reveal which industries are hiring temporary foreign workers and for what jobs.

“That also will help us develop our future plans to look at our skill inventory,” he said.

Bains said he’d like to see all temporary foreign workers have a path to permanent residency in Canada. The provincial government, he said, needs to work with the federal government to make that happen.

“Canada was built, basically, with immigrants. Many of them were temporary foreign workers, then that led them to become full-time permanent residents,” he said. “I think there should be a pathway for those workers to become permanent residents so that they enjoy their full rights as any other worker.”

Working with ‘Green friends’ on labour code

A review of the labour code is also part of the labour minister’s mandate. Bains dismissed concerns that disagreement between the NDP and the Green Party over unionization rules could hamper efforts to make changes.

“I will work with our Green friends,” he said.

Proper consultation with unions and employers, he said, will result in changes that will reflect today’s economy.

“We want to make sure that employers and unions feel that they have a place to go where they can seek help and get help and resolve disputes and also help them promote their areas of interest,” he said.

image atom

How NDP and Greens Could Unite to Improve Workers’ Lives


Bains is confident that consultation will create a productive relationship between all interested parties.

“There’s always this notion that the trade union movement somehow is an impediment to economic growth. I disagree with that,” he said. “Workers, labour unions, their representatives, employers, they’ve worked together over the last 150 years ever since our country was created. They played an equal role in developing our country and taking it to a level that is the envy of the world today.”

Bains reiterated the message of co-operation that has been the NDP government’s talking point since their agreement with the Green Party was announced in May.

“The message to the labour and to the business community is that we are here to help you both work together,” he said. “So that we can grow our economy, attract investment to British Columbia, where businesses will feel that that they will get a good return on their investment.”

Workers, he said, should also feel confident that the government is setting out to protect their interests.

“I think as a government you can help both sides, encourage them to have a very co-operative, consultative environment of labour relations where you respect each other, you understand each other and try to understand and develop policies and mechanisms to resolve your disputes in a more amicable and co-operative way,” he said.

“We are all working towards one goal, which is to make everybody’s — all British Columbians’ — lives better.”  [Tyee]


Labour Day is as relevant now as it ever was, says union


A Day in the Life of Union-Bashing National Post

Its newsroom tries to unionize, defying two decades of published anti-labour screeds.


Editor's note: The drive by the National Post’s Ontario newsroom to unionize raises the question: Don’t they believe their own newspaper? Founder Conrad Black called public sector unions a “blight on our society” and scoffed that his striking Calgary Herald employees were just “trying to swaddle themselves in the clothes of oppressed workers seeking respect for their rights." That’s how it’s gone pretty much every day in the National Post, under two more owners, since its 1998 launch. Take a random look at the November 26, 2008 edition. That day York University professor of Work Law David J. Doorey happened to train his expert eye on the National Post and below is what he found and blogged. Good luck, NP workers, in your attempt to freeze hell.]



I read the National Post today while riding my exercise bike through my virtual Wii world. It made me laugh out loud (the Post, not the Wii world, which is actually pretty cool).

The Post today had no less than three anti-union rants! On page A16, Mathieu Roy called unions “parasites of Western societies.” Ouch.

On page A17, Paul Andrews blamed the downfall of the Big Three auto manufacturers on unions. He wrote: “The legacy costs associated with inflated union wages and pensions are the reason that the Big Three are not profitable.” [I'm not sure that argument is very convincing. Perhaps the fact that the companies continued to produce gas-guzzling SUVs that no one wants anymore, while paying their executives hundreds of millions of dollars for making those kinds of decisions might have something to do with it. Check out an alternative opinion by Harvard economist Richard Freeman here.]


It's about time. Good!!!

BCNU ordered to pay $75,000 after president's election actions called improper, interfering and threatening

Internal problems continue to plague the B.C. Nurses’ Union (BCNU) and its beleaguered president as an arbitrator has issued a report mostly faulting Gayle Duteil, who was placed on paid leave last fall. 

A Labour Relations Board arbitrator had harsh words for Duteil, who was acclaimed for a second, three-year term in last year’s spring election but was placed on leave last fall after about 10 allegations were made by both union members and individuals outside the union. Duteil was diagnosed with breast cancer days after the election, but once she completed her treatment last fall, she was told not to come back because of multiple complaints and investigations.

In an interview Wednesday, she said as far as those complaints go, she expects to be exonerated after mediators Vince Ready and Judy Korbin wrap up their investigation into the “untrue allegations”.

“I plan to be back in time to start bargaining on behalf of nurses this spring (the current contract expires in 2019),” Duteil said. 

Meanwhile, the recent decision by arbitrator Tom Hodges in the election debacle provides insights into the turmoil within the massive, influential union that has over 47,000 members.


Bannister needs to get real.

We have had 16 consecutive years of right-wing decisions out of the Labour Board. It's long overdue time to set the clock right and return the secret ballot to its rightful place so that employees are not intimidated by the Owners!!! 

Unions call on B.C. Labour Relations Code review committee to ban secret-ballot voting



Members of the committee reviewing B.C.'s Lagour Relations Code, (from left) Barry Dong, chairman Michael Fleming and member Sandra Banister during a public meeting March 28, 2018 at the Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront.

A key recommendation by unions to a hearing of the province’s Labour Relations Code review committee Wednesday was to dispense with secret-ballot votes and bring back the signing of union cards as the measure of bargaining unit certification.

Keeping secret-ballot votes, however, tops the list of provisions in the existing Labour Relations Code that employer groups want to hang, which signals the pressure the committee is under in its deliberations, which will result in recommendations on revising the code. 

“It’s a pressure that any third party feels in any kind of labour-relations event,” said committee chairman Michael Fleming, lawyer and longtime impartial adjudicator in the labour relations field.

Labour Minister Harry Bains appointed the committee Feb. 6 with Fleming as chairman and labour lawyers Sandra Banister representing union interests, and Barry Dong representing employer interests, to undertake the first review of the main legislation governing employment standards in B.C.’s unionized workplaces since 2003.

Premier John Horgan’s NDP promised a review of the code in last spring’s election, with a view to remove the secret-ballot provision, and Bains appointed the committee as a provision of its supply and management agreement with the B.C. Green party.

From the union sector’s perspective, the review is a long-awaited chance to advocate for rolling back changes made by the previous B.C. Liberal government that its member unions argue stacked the deck against their ability to organize workplaces.

Repealing provisions that allow employers to communicate with employees during unionization drives and removing the essential-service designation from education were common recommendations among the union presenters to Wednesday’s public hearing in Vancouver.

Card-based certification however, “is the most important change that can be made to restore balance” in B.C.’s Labour Relations Code, said Martina Boyd, staff counsel for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who delivered the union’s submission to the hearing.

Former premier Gordon Campbell’s B.C. Liberal government, in 2001, brought back the requirement for secret-ballot votes in unionization drives after a period of card sign-off 

However, on Wednesday, speakers representing unions said the change has resulted in unfair labour practices with employer tactics during voting periods often amounting to intimidation to dissuade employees from voting in favour of unions.

The perspective of employers who have made submissions, however, is that there can be intimidation on employees to sign cards during an organizing campaign, said Dan Baxter, an executive with the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

“What we would say is a secret ballot is the true measure to clear the air,” said Baxter, director of policy development for the chamber.

“If a vote should happen, and should it be a clear majority in favour (of unionizing) then everyone knows that it’s the clear will of the workers.”

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce was one of 13 signatories, along with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Independent Contractors and Business Association and Urban Development Institute, recommending that the province maintain the existing Labour Relations Code’s status quo.

“Where our membership is at, the labour code has been a finely balanced piece of legislation,” Baxter said, which, over the last 18 years, has helped deliver “relative labour peace, at least on the private-sector side of the equation.”

From the committee’s point of view, said panel member Bannister, the biggest pressure is to come up with balanced recommendations that everybody can buy into.

“And that’s going to be sustainable,” added Fleming, who said one thing they want to avoid is “a pendulum swing, as there has been on certain issues.”


Come on Harry, get those wages up so folks can afford to both work and live here!


Actually what would be fair, and some of the reasons there are unions, is that unions force contractors to pay decent wages and benefits, which benefit the whole community, and unions as well force contractors to reduce and stop cutting safety standards which endanger workers. 

Chris Gardner: We need to tell the NDP government that fairness matters


Part of the issue is that the NDP took over the project after it was already started and they inherited another one of the major messes created by the Liberals, includong some inappropriate management at BC Hydro. Apprenticeships, Indigenous Peoples, women on construction jobsites are all priorities for John Horgan and his team so perhaps Harry could be a big help here.

Site C Is Shortchanging BC Workers and Apprentices, Say Unions

Megaproject a missed opportunity to address skills shortage, critics argue.


The Greens are no friends of Labour so good luck with those merger talks, eh!


So Long to ‘Outdated’ BC Labour Laws: NDP

Province makes raft of revisions, except one blocked by Greens.




Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has agreed to repay $85,000 in tips it withheld from its workers in its banquet department.​


NorthReport wrote:

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has agreed to repay $85,000 in tips it withheld from its workers in its banquet department.​

They won't be but the top executives of the corporation that okayed this should be charged with theft. 


Good on Harry Bains to allow collective bargaining to run its course. 

Deal in place to end forestry workers strike


‘A Totally Rigged System’: Injured Workers in British Columbia Want Change Now

Advocates concerned at government delays in dealing with WorkSafeBC reform.


No Fast Action on Major WorkSafeBC Review, Says Labour Minister

Some changes this session, but major changes to make system more ‘worker centric’ not coming soon.


Time for BC and Vancouver to Stop Glorifying Global Tech Jobs

Better to bolster our ‘foundational economy.’ The pandemic tells us local resilience comes first.


Another one of BC's dirty little secrets: 

How the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor!

Why is there not a minimum of 4-hours pay for a call out in the health care sector? 

Nonunionized health care workers working in the private sector are sent to different client's homes for two hour shifts, and their travel time is not even paid. So if they live an hour away from the job, a lot of these workers cannot afford cars, these workers are paid $35, or effectively just over $8 an hour. Outrageous!!!