Commentary

Why BC needs sectoral bargaining now

Sectoral bargaining represents a different approach to labour law than the worksite-based certification model prevalent in BC. Instead of channeling all organizing and bargaining efforts at the individual workplace, sectoral bargaining provides ways to bring together workers across an industry or occupation within a designated region to negotiate minimum standards for the entire sector.

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Budget fails to fund enough supports for newcomers to BC

New immigrants, temporary foreign workers and international students are bearing the brunt of the blame for the housing crisis and strain on public services. The real issue, however, is the provincial budget failing to keep up with demand to match the increased growth of newcomers and international students to BC.

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New labour legislation to continue gig worker precarity

The BC government has announced Bill 48 to provide better working conditions and rights for app-based ride-hail and food-delivery gig workers. Even with existing BC labour legislation, the central question is whether app-based workers employed by platform companies should be classified as “employees” entitled to all the rights and protections of BC labour laws.

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New protections for BC platform workers entrench racism

BC Ministry of Labour announced new employment standards that claim to “bring fairness” to the estimated 40,000 ride-hail and food-delivery workers in BC, after a year of public engagement with platform workers, platform companies and labour experts, which brought to the fore the precarious working conditions of platform workers.

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Raising the bar: Our recommendations for equitable gig work in BC

Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers now participate to varying degrees in app-based work. Ride hail and food delivery workers are only the most visible examples of this growing workforce. There is a small but growing number of other app-based workers providing location-specific services in BC who need the same workplace rights and protections.

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Fires and farmworkers: Climate justice means improving protections for migrant farmworkers

The impacts of the climate crisis are socially and geographically uneven: the wealthiest regions contribute disproportionately to the destruction of the planet while the poorest regions suffer the heaviest consequences. In this context, migrant farmworkers find themselves doubly displaced, facing droughts and inundations in their home countries, then heatwaves, fires and floods where they come

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Here’s how BC should protect app-based workers

Despite their high-tech image, digital platform firms employ practices that are familiar from centuries of insecure work, including compensating workers on a per-task basis, offering no guarantee of continuing work, requiring them to provide tools and equipment and classifying them as ‘contractors’ not employees.

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Work at a cafe hands paper bags to someone across a counter.

It’s time for a robust precarious work strategy for BC

Opinion: The B.C. government has the power to improve the lives of these workers and their families right away with the long-promised provincial precarious work strategy. The rise of the “gig economy” and on-demand work through platforms like Uber has ignited public debate about precarious work and what makes a “good job.”

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A win for BC workers: single-step union certification

The BC government recently introduced legislation that allows a majority of workers in a workplace to organize a union a little more easily, making it harder for employers to intimidate and interfere in organizing drives. That’s good news both for working people and for the quality of our democracy.

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Credit: Joe Tabacca / Shutterstock

COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a living wage

With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, news stories sounding the alarm over worker shortages are once again on the rise. And, like previous waves, these news stories are focused almost exclusively on workers in low-wage, precarious jobs. These jobs service large parts of the Canadian economy that are now being recognized as

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Legislated Paid Sick Leave – A Historic Moment for Worker Rights

The BC government will implement the right for all employees to have a minimum number of employer-paid sick days on January 1, 2022. BC will become just the third province in Canada to do so—and has an opportunity to make history by bringing in the strongest, most well-designed program in the country.

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To reduce gender inequality, introduce paid sick leave

To reduce gender inequality, introduce paid sick leave In the week of International Women’s Day let’s celebrate BC’s positive steps toward gender equality while bringing attention to the changes still needed. When it comes to gender and (paid) work, one recent big achievement is the BC government’s introduction of job-protected paid leave for workers who

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Paid sick leave finally on the agenda: Here’s why it matters

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that everyone’s health and well-being depends on workers being able to stay home when they are sick. In BC, workers now have a legal right to time off when they are ill—three days for regular illness and unlimited time for COVID-19—but not paid time off. As a result,

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