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B.C. lawyers association votes in favour of job action

By Kurtis Doering, The Canadian Press, and Emily Marsten

The B.C. lawyers who pen legislation and provide legal advice to the province have voted over 97 per cent in favour of job action.

This comes as the province starts to debate Bill 5, which would bar government lawyers from forming their own union but would allow them to join an existing one.

The BC Government Lawyers Association (BCHLA) which recently voted to unionize, says that would force them into the Professional Employees Association, a union their 350 members don’t support and haven’t signed cards for.

“We have already written Premier Eby and Attorney-General Niki Sharma to uphold the promise made to us in 2018 by the government under Premier Horgan, that they would not force us into any other government-selected union without consultation,” says BCGLA Secretary Margo Foster in a statement. “The irony is that this promise has been broken by the same NDP government that passed Bill 10 last year to prevent employer interference with workers choosing whether to organize and, if so, who will represent them.”

“In a free society, workers choose their unions, not employers and not governments” a previous statement from Foster reads. “We will do whatever we can to stop this blatantly unconstitutional attack on freedom of association.”

The BCGLA says it’s considering several tactics to oppose Bill 5.

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