Kitimat, BC —The BC Labour Relations Board has just ruled that industrial camp operator Civeo gave improper support to the BC Regional Council of Carpenters and unduly influenced workers against UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s camp workers union.
“The Employer first contacted the BCRCC (BC Regional Council of Carpenters) immediately after Local 40 gave the Employer notice of its intention to organize through its access request. It did so in response to Local 40 access request and, I find, in the hopes that doing so would cause Local 40 to abandon its attempt to organize the Employer’s employees, or would otherwise prevent Local 40 from successfully organizing its employees. The result was to tilt the playing field towards BCRCC and away from Local 40, thus interfering with its employees’ ability to freely choose their representative,” was one of the Labour Boards’ findings.
“This Labour Board’s decision is a victory for all camp and construction workers that they should be able to choose their own union without employers picking a union for them”, said Robert Demand, Executive Director at UNITE HERE and an Executive Board Member of the BC Building Trades. “Finally, UNITE HERE organizers can meet with camp workers and allow these cooks, camp attendants and others to decide if they want a union. I think they’ll be very interested in a fighting union like ours.”
In June 2021, UNITE HERE Local 40 advised Civeo that they intended to visit and organize their non-union camp employees. In response, Civeo denied Local 40 access to their camps, picked the BC Regional Council of Carpenters to negotiate a contract, and stopped workers from their right to choose which union, if any, to join.
The Labour Board agreed with Local 40 that Civeo interfered and now the Civeo/Carpenters contract has been cancelled. Civeo must now allow UNITE HERE Local 40 into the 7 Mile, 9A and P2 Lodges on the GasLink pipeline and the Trans Mountain Merritt Camp to speak to employees about joining BC’s camp workers union.
UNITE HERE Local 40 already represents Civeo workers at Sitka Lodge in Kitimat, along with other camp workers supporting LNG in Kitimat and the GasLink pipeline.
UNITE HERE Local 40 has been advising shareholders and First Nation community allies about Civeo’s behavior at Sitka Lodge over the past two months.
Monika Schuster, Civeo worker and UNITE HERE Local 40 Job Steward from Sitka Lodge: “I’m so glad that these Civeo workers will now have the path to join the union of their choice. All camp workers deserve a living wage for the hard work we put in to build a better BC! I encourage them to join our UNITE HERE Local 40 family.”
Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected]
UNITE HERE Local 40 is the camp and hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the industrial camps, hotels, food service and airports throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.