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"I find that the employer is in breach of Section 16 of the Code. I order the employer to cease and desist from further breaches of the code and to immediately forward to the union all dues withheld."
Vice chair Catherine McCreary of the Labour Relations Board (LRB) issued the above statement on March 8 as part of her decision regarding the actions of Interior Roads Limited to deduct union dues from members and to refuse to remit that money to the Union as per its requirements under the collective agreement.
In doing so, the LRB completely rejected the rationale submitted by IRL to justify its actions.
IRL argued that its actions arose from the bid submitted by Robson Highways Services to the Ministry of Transportation to provide highways road and bridge maintenance services in Service Area 20. IRL argues that this made the BCGEU a competitor and therefore our right to represent all employees of IRL should be eliminated and they immediately acted upon this view by refusing to comply with the collective agreement and remit dues to the Union.
In response to this action the vice chair of the LRB stated "I agree with the union's statement that Robson is not competing with the Employer on an on-going basis." The award further states that "Equally there is no advantage to Robson as a competitor by continued collection and remission of dues by the employer. The bids are in. The decision is in the hands of the Ministry of Transport. There will be one successful party."
This decision represents a full and complete rejection of the actions of IRL and obligates IRL to respect your collective agreement and all of the rights that fall within it. It is the hope of BCGEU that IRL will comply fully with the spirit and intent of this award.
It is time for IRL to treat it employees, their collective agreement and their union with the respect they deserve.