Premier Christy Clark has intervened to reverse BC Hydro’s decision to switch to an open-shop format that would prohibit union organizing on the $8.8-billion Site C dam.
Clark says Hydro went too far and that she has spoken to the utility’s CEO Jessica McDonald, who has agreed to change the policy regarding the project on the Peace River in the northeastern part of the province.
The premier stepped in after the province’s council of building trade unions filed a civil suit in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, saying Hydro’s plan violates the charter.
Clark says unions have a right to organize and that BC Hydro can’t take that away.
Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council, says the utility’s plan would have meant any non-union contractor bidding on part of the project couldn’t access unionized work crews.
He says the council met with Hydro’s CEO at least three times since last October urging her to change the policy while also lobbying the province.