PBC (DA Townley) – What To Do If Your Workplace is Picketed

April 25, 2017

To: All MoveUP members at PBC Health Benefits Society (D.A. Townley) - Please Post

Re: Potential Strike Action –  CUPE 1816 vs Pacific Blue Cross

As an affiliate of the BC Federation of Labour, MoveUP works hard with other unions to deal with any potential issues arising from picket lines that affect our members before a picket line is set up. But just in case you encounter a picket line outside your workplace, here is what you need to know.

Do Not Cross
MoveUP members at many worksites have the right to refuse to cross a legal picket line without fear of discipline (see our downloadable member guide attached here for the list of workplaces that have picket protection in their collective agreement). A picket line can only be ruled illegal by a Labour Relations Board ruling or by the courts. An employer does not get to decide the legality of a picket line.

When we stand with our brothers and sisters from other unions by refusing to cross their picket line we help put added pressure on their employer. Many other unions’ struggles are linked to our own and we need to remember that one day we may need their support in our own disputes.

Contact the Union Office
Find a Job Steward, Executive Councilor, Executive Board Member or contact the union office directly to ask for further instructions. Call 604-299-0378 or 1-800-665-6838 (toll-free) or email your Union Representative.

How Do I Tell If It’s a Picket Line?
If the people are wearing picket signs, it’s a picket line.

Will I Lose Pay or Benefits?
When you respect another union’s legal picket line, it’s as if you are on strike with MoveUp. The union will work with your job stewards to ensure members receive picket pay if they lose regular pay. The union will also arrange with your employer to continue benefits on your behalf as long as you are off work for more than half a day. Once you are back at work you will be required to reimburse the union for your benefit payment.

What Happens If I Cross?
The MoveUP constitution (section 16.1) allows for a member to bring a charge against another member for crossing a picket line (ours or another union’s) within six months. After the charge is fully investigated via the process laid out in the constitution, the member may be subject to discipline (section 16.4).

Feel free to share this information with members in your workplace, or direct them to our downloadable member guide on the right to respect picket lines.

In Solidarity,

Cathy Hirani
Union Representative

File Number: 17-DAT-AD
Union Label: CH:cm usw2009