BCNU actions constitute a raid – CLC

Congress president Georgetti imposes sanctions on nurses’ union
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Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) president Ken Georgetti has found that BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) efforts to recruit licensed practical nurses and other health care workers already represented by HEU and other unions constitutes a raid and has imposed sanctions on the provincial nurses’ union.

In a July 30, 2009 letter to Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), the national body to which the BCNU is affiliated, Georgetti states, “Since the BCNU is attempting to recruit members for their union at the expense of CLC affiliated unions, I therefore find this is a raid...”

“This is a strong condemnation of the BCNU’s actions to expand their own organization by using tactics that are in direct opposition to long-standing solidarity principles central to the labour movement in B.C. and across Canada,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

In his letter, Georgetti also requests that the CFNU direct the BCNU to cease activities that constitute a raid under Article 4 of the CLC constitution, which covers interference with existing bargaining relationships of another affiliate.

And the letter directs that the BCNU be suspended from participation in the B.C. Federation of Labour and in labour councils around the province, as well as CLC education programs and services.

“Perhaps now the BCNU will stop their reckless and misguided attempts to recruit HEU members,” says Darcy. “In the wake of major cuts to health care, we all need to focus on the more important tasks of representing our members and continuing to work together to protect and strengthen public health care in B.C.”

BCNU has continued their raiding activities despite a May 14, 2009 letter from the CLC president directing BCNU to cease their actions which violate Article 4 (raiding provisions).

“Mutual respect and solidarity are principles that unions have developed and democratically agreed to when they come together under the umbrella of a national body like the Canadian Labour Congress,” says Darcy.

“BCNU knew and supported these principles when they joined the CLC and the B.C. Federation of Labour. It’s regrettable that BCNU has now abandoned them in order to increase their membership.”