The British Columbia Government EmployeesUnion (“BCGEU”) has announced that this coming Wednesday, September 5, approximately27,000 direct government employees will stage a one-day strike. The striking employeesare members of the BCGEU, the Professional Employees Association (“PEA”), and Canadian Office & ProfessionalEmployees Union (“COPE”), Local 378.
This strike may affect non-unionized governmentworkers and non-government employers who are common tenants at the picketedlocations. It is important for everyone to understand which picketingactivities are lawful and unlawful, and to be prepared to deal with any problemsthat may arise.
Striking employees can legally picket outsideof common tenant sites, although other, non-struck employers can seek relieffrom such picketing under the LabourRelations Code.
Picketers are permitted to communicatetheir strike messages and to hand out literature to passers-by. However, it is unlawfulfor picketers to physically obstruct access to workplaces, even briefly. Picketersmust allow people and vehicles to enter and leave the struck locations, unimpeded.Picketers are also prohibited from engaging in any tortious or criminalactivity, such as threats of harm or violent acts. If you are concerned aboutthis activity having an effect of your workplace, please feel free to give oneof our lawyers a call for advice on how to be prepared to deal with theseissues.