Member complaint against CLAC must proceed to hearing, LRB rules

The Christian Labour Association (CLAC), Local 66, suffered a setback at the Labour Relations Board earlier this month.  CLAC claims to be a trade union but is not recognized to be a legitimate workers’ organization by anyone within the labour movement.  A recent decision by the LRB illustrates some of the reasons why this is so.

In a decision issued June 16, 2016, Re Clark Reefer Lines Ltd,  a reconsideration panel of the Labour Relations Board headed by Board Chair Brent Mullin directed that the Board hold a hearing into the merits of a complaint by a member of the Christian Labourer’s Association of Canada (CLAC) Local 66 that the union had violated its duty of fair representation when it failed to represent him in his termination.

 The worker alleged that when he was hired he was never told who the union was; he was not given a collective agreement and when dues were deducted there was no indication as to which union they were being forwarded.  

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Labour Board dismisses raid of health unions by BC Nurses

In a decision issued on April 11, 2016, the raiding activities of the BC Nurses suffered a set-back. About 5 years ago, the then British Columbia Nurses Union was expelled from the Canadian Labour Congress and the BC Federation of Labour for its raiding campaigns against other health unions in the province. This came on the heels of BCN’s successful application at the Labour Relations Board to raid some 6500 licensed practical nurses from their traditional unions, the Hospital Employee’s Union and the BCGEU. 

Unfortunately, the ultimate sanction of expulsion from the central labour body has not dissuaded the BCN from its raiding activities. Its latest efforts have been aimed at signing up psychologists and psychometrists who are members of the Health Sciences Association or the Professional Employees Association. BCN applied to the Labour Relations Board to be certified as their representative in late 2015.

Let’s hope that with this setback, the leadership of the BCN will decide to redirect their efforts and resources towards advocating for better healthcare and better working conditions for their members and all healthcare workers, rather than attacking other unions. And let’s hope that nurses themselves will call upon their leadership to do just that. 

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