New Poll Shows NDP Labour Platform out of Sync with British Columbians

Vancouver, BC (25 April 2013) – British Columbians recognize that small businesses are the backbone of the economy and that BC’s current labour policies are working well for small business employers and employees. Two thirds of British Columbians do not believe that the labour policy changes contained in the NDP platform are necessary.

The Coalition of BC Businesses which represents small businesses in 13 sectors of the BC economy recently commissioned a survey of 600 randomly selected British Columbians. That research found that more than two-thirds of people want to keep the secret ballot vote for union certification, believe that most employees are treated fairly by small businesses, and agree that current employment policies protect employees.

“The vast majority of British Columbians do not want the kind of changes to current labour and employment policies being promised by the NDP,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Chair of the Coalition of BC Businesses. “This is a clear indication that the NDP’s labour platform is out of sync with the wishes of average British Columbians.”

The survey also found strong support to stay the course on labour policy from within unionized households:

  • 67% of public union and 70% of private union households agree that employees are treated fairly by small business
  • 66% of public union and 72% of private union households support keeping certification ballots secret
  • 65% of public union and 72% of private union households are at least somewhat confident that current employment standards protect employees

“Many of the labour policies outlined in the NDP platform are impractical and unnecessary,” continues von Schellwitz. “It is no secret that organized labour wants a return to a card based union certification system because it makes it easier for union organizers to certify workplaces without employees hearing all the facts. The NDP needs to know that British Columbians want to maintain workplace democracy and should respect their wishes. Many small businesses are concerned that the outcome of the proposed 90 day Labour Code panel has already been decided and that the proposed panel is nothing more than a way for the NDP to avoid promising to remove workplace democracy during an election campaign ,” noted von Schellwitz.

“The question that Mr Dix and the NDP have to answer during the election is where exactly they stand on a secret ballot vote for union certification? British Columbians do not want one mysterious step at a time labour policy decided soon after an election” concluded von Schellwitz.

The survey was conducted by Innovative Research and was commissioned by the Coalition of BC Businesses. 600 randomly selected British Columbians were surveyed via telephone between April 11th and April 16th. The sample has been weighted for age, gender and region using Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census data to reflect actual demographic breakdown. The results of the survey are considered accurate within 4% 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the sample.

The Coalition of BC Businesses ( represents 13 BC business associations. The Coalition’s principal focus is the development of labour and employment policies that will help foster a positive relationship between employers and employees and a climate for new economic growth, opportunities, and jobs.

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Link to Data