Labour union responds after business groups challenge B.C.'s construction hiring model

A major labour union is responding after several business groups filed a petition asking the B.C. Supreme Court to strike down the province's new framework for public infrastructure projects.

B.C. Building Trades executive director says both union and non-union contractors can bid on public projects

A gantry crane used in the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in 2010. A petition filed Monday says B.C.'s new hiring model for taxpayer-funded construction projects means only members of building trade unions will be hired. (TI Corp.) (TI Corp.)

A major labour union is responding after several business groups filed a petition asking the B.C. Supreme Court to strike down the province's new framework for public infrastructure projects.

B.C. Building Trades executive director Tom Sigurdson says he wants to clarify that both union and non-union contractors can bid on public infrastructure projects under the framework, but workers who are on the job for 30 days must join an appropriate union.

He says the provision can't be used as an organizing tool, so union membership only extends for the duration of the project, and membership ensures workers are paid union wages and benefits and have access to training opportunities.

Sigurdson says the previous Liberal and Social Credit governments used the same framework for some projects and he accuses the business groups of filing the challenge as a political statement against the NDP. 

Read more from CBC British Columbia