“Our LifeLabs members will now have an even stronger voice and greater influence at the negotiating table,” said Stephanie Smith, President of BCGEU. “This victory demonstrates the continued growth of our members in the health sector and will ultimately strengthen the voice of all our 17,000 members in the health sector.” LifeLabs acquired BC BioMedical in April 2013. Following the merger, BC BioMedical employees expressed interest in being part of the LifeLabs collective agreement. LifeLabs was certified in 1999 and has a long history with BCGEU/NUPGE. This group will be integrated into the existing LifeLabs collective agreement and will now hear its collective voices negotiating issues such as job security and wages with management as part of a cooperative and fair process. Staff at the LifeLabs Cam Coady Building (CCB) in Surrey will join the 820 members across the country. The CWB vote included the current BCGEU/NUPGE members who are transferred from the LifeLabs Burnaby unionized laboratory to the previously non-union surrey laboratory. With a collective agreement, you know what your rights are. You know what your employer can and cannot do, and by negotiating a collective agreement, you collectively have control over your working conditions. If you are a member of the BCGEU, you are not alone in managing and dealing with issues in your workplace.
A collective agreement with your employer means that your rights as an employee, working conditions and remuneration are clearly formulated and enforceable. Asked what he sees as the greatest benefit of working in a unionized environment, he said it was about solidarity. “In China, we have a saying: a single stick is very easy to break, but it is very difficult to break a bunch of chopsticks. It`s an example of solidarity, and how companies can`t break up if you`re together. “Our LifeLabs members will now have an even stronger voice and greater influence at the negotiating table. – Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU For more information on BCGEU membership, call 604-882-0111 or visit www.bcgeu.ca. Jing remembered his first emigration to Canada about 20 years ago. He worked in a factory where workers received limited breaks, not overtime, were often verbally abused by management, and asked major questions in the area of occupational health and safety. For Jing Tao, being a steward at his workplace for five years has been a satisfying and rewarding experience.
Jing, who has worked at Maxxam Analytics in various departments for about 17 years, is a proud member of the BC Government and Employees` Union (BCGEU). “We know the union is here to protect us,” Jing says. “The whole purpose of the union is to bring fairness to the workplace.” “It was absurd,” Jing says. “No one deserves to be approached or to work in these conditions. But the workers remained silent for fear of losing their jobs. Jing invites new immigrants to learn about the benefits of union membership and how a union can improve their jobs.