The NDP portrays themselves as champions of working people, but recently we’ve seen the facade lifted as they faltered badly in their efforts to be seen as a strong backer of the labour movement. Premier Horgan suffered his first defeat at the hands of his own Green Party partners when they refused to support any legislative proposal that would eliminate secret ballots for union certification.
Before any of the NDP’s labour reforms could see the light of day, leader Andrew Weaver shot down a plan that would see workers openly sign union cards (rather than cast a secret ballot) on the question of certification. An obvious infringement on democratic rights.
As Official Opposition, the B.C. Liberals would never allow this government to sacrifice the secret ballot – or any other democratic right for that matter – so John Horgan’s plan went down in flames, much to the disappointment of the NDP’s big union bosses located south of the border. The second biggest disappointment comes from Horgan’s failure to uphold the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
When the NDP declared that only unionized community service workers would receive a $4 an hour increase at the expense of 17,000 non-unionized workers, the cry of inequality rang throughout a sector of hard working people responsible for the care of seniors, children, and the vulnerable. By penalizing one half of workers, ensuring they earn significantly less than their unionized counterparts, John Horgan is trying to force the unionization of 120 community and social service agencies from across the province. This is blatant discrimination against non-union workers doing the exact same work.
The NDP tried to use the same tactic in the 1990s and failed. It is expected to be shot down once again when the matter goes before the courts.
Last of all, the B.C. Teachers Federation are quickly discovering that John Horgan and the NDP are not living up to their expectations as friends of the labour movement, or even teachers. Their five-year contract is set to expire at the end of June but negotiations have already hit a wall and a war or words is spilling over in public regarding class-size and composition.
So much for bargaining in good faith.
British Columbians are now finding out that despite what John Horgan and his party claim, the NDP are no champions of the working people, only the union bosses they report to.