March 27, 2024


LANGLEY – The Province is currently reviewing the Labour Relations Code which governs unionization and related employer-employee relations in BC through an appointed Review Panel.  The Langley Chamber has reviewed the Labour Code, past reports from the Panel, and has made a submission to the Review Panel to help inform any changes to this legislation.

The Chamber believes that any changes to the Code should be both measured and sustainable, reflecting the need for stability in the employer-employee relationship and the broader economic environment. It is our position that the current labour market dynamics, characterized by a persistent shortage of workers across various sectors, naturally tilts the balance in favor of employees already.  This market reality underscores the importance of ensuring that any amendments to the Code do not unduly tip this balance further but rather aim to foster a fair and equitable environment for both employers and employees.

In our submission, we pointed our changes in recent years have disadvantaged employers and made it difficult for employers to engage on the issue of unionization in their workplaces. Specifically, we highlighted several elements which are worthy of further review:

  • One-Step Union Certification Process
    • We advised against further easing the union certification process through additional Code reforms, and reiterated our opposition to the removal of the secret ballot vote for union certification
  • ​Limits on Employer Communication
    • ​We voiced concern with the restrictions limiting employers’ ability to communicate with their employees during union organizing campaigns and prior to certification votes.  Employers should retain the right to present factual information and articulate legitimately-held beliefs in a respectful manner. This ensures employees can make informed decisions based on a full understanding of the implications of unionization.
  • ​5 Day Timeline for Union Votes
    • ​The 5 day timeline significantly hampers the ability of employers to participate, communicate or comply with Board rules or orders, and often prevents employers from seeking counsel and legal advice, and we recommended a review of this timeline
  • ​Automatic Union Certification
    • ​In some cases, the Labour Relations Board can automatically certify a union without a vote of the workers and the Chamber called for a careful examination of the appropriateness and applicability of this power.

Cory Redekop is the CEO of the Langley Chamber of Commerce

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