Files for BC's New Minister of Labour Harry Bains Jul 18 '17

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Files for BC's New Minister of Labour Harry Bains Jul 18 '17

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 Mr. Magoo's picture

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.

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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.]