Before the anti-labor onslaught of the 1980s, union recognition in Canada was straightforward and democratic — all it took was a workplace majority to sign authorization cards. Now, decades later, workers in BC have won back this fundamental right.
The British Columbia (BC) government recently introduced legislation that will allow a majority of workers to organize a union a little more easily and make it harder for employers to intimidate and interfere in organizing drives. That’s good news both for working people and for the quality of our democracy.
Single-step certification means that if a clear majority of workers back forming a union — and sign authorization cards declaring this — they are allowed to form one. This is actually a return to the traditional framework for union certification in Canada. The single-step process was the norm until the 1980s, when governments began rolling it back in many provinces, including BC. This rollback was part of a longer trend in cuts to the social safety net and broader anti-labor policies.