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This Act is current to May 14, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Fishing Collective Bargaining Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 150

2Application of Act
3Application of Labour Relations Code
4Voluntary recognition
5Unfair labour practices
6Successor rights
7Strike or lockout
8Dismissal provision in collective agreement
9Determination of appropriate unit
10First collective agreement
11Change during certification or bargaining
12Effect of certification
13Refusal to purchase fish
14Jurisdiction of Labour Relations Board


1   In this Act:

"board" has the same meaning as in the Code;

"Code" means the Labour Relations Code;

"collective agreement" means a written agreement between an employer or an employers' organization authorized by the employer, and a trade union providing for minimum prices or prices of fish, share arrangements between vessel owners and crew members on fishing vessels, hours of work or other conditions of employment and includes any such agreement that was entered into before June 30, 1994 and that is still in force;

"employee" means a person engaged in commercial fishing and includes a person who agrees to accept as remuneration a share or portion of the proceeds of a fishing venture;

"employer" means a person who employs one or more employees and includes

(a) a person who purchases fish from a commercial fisher,

(b) a person who provides as remuneration a share or portion of the proceeds of a fishing venture, and

(c) an employers' organization;

"fish" means any species of animal living in water, including its eggs or roe;

"lockout" means a lockout as defined in the Code and includes a refusal by an employer to accept or purchase fish, done to compel the employer's employees or to aid another employer in compelling that employer's employees to agree to conditions of employment;

"strike" means a strike as defined in the Code and includes a refusal to engage in fishing or to sell or deliver fish by employees in combination or in concert or in accordance with a common understanding.

Application of Act

2   This Act applies to persons engaged in the catching or harvesting of fish and to persons purchasing fish.

Application of Labour Relations Code

3   The Code and the regulations under it apply in respect of the matters to which this Act applies, but if there is a conflict or inconsistency between this Act and the Code, this Act applies.

Voluntary recognition

4   Nothing in this Act prohibits or terminates any voluntary recognition of trade unions by employers.

Unfair labour practices

5   (1) An employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer must not refuse to purchase fish from a person because the person

(a) is or proposes to become or seeks to induce another person to become a member or officer of a trade union, or

(b) participates in the promotion, formation or administration of a trade union.

(2) Despite subsection (1), this Act must not be interpreted to limit or otherwise affect the right of an employer to make a change in the operation of the employer's business reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of that business.

(3) Section 14 of the Code applies with respect to an act prohibited by this section.

Successor rights

6   Section 35 of the Code does not apply with respect to the sale of a fishing vessel.

Strike or lockout

7   Despite section 57 of the Code, a strike or lockout arising from collective bargaining in respect of a species of fish is not unlawful only because it occurs during the term of a collective agreement in respect of a different species of fish.

Dismissal provision in collective agreement

8   Section 84 (1) and (3) of the Code does not apply

(a) to a collective agreement in respect of the price or minimum price of fish, or

(b) to an employment relationship where the employer maintains no control over the discipline or dismissal of the employee.

Determination of appropriate unit

9   When the board, under section 22.1 (a) of the Code, is determining whether a unit is appropriate for collective bargaining, it may consider, in addition to other matters it considers relevant, the manner in which negotiations in the fishing industry have taken place in the past, including such matters as whether negotiations have taken place based on fish species and gear type.

First collective agreement

10   Section 55 of the Code does not apply to collective bargaining between a trade union and an employer if the trade union and the employer have negotiated one or more collective agreements with each other before June 30, 1994.

Change during certification or bargaining

11   (1) Despite section 32 (1) of the Code, an employer may alter the price or minimum price that it offers for fish while an application for certification is pending.

(2) Despite section 45 (1) (b) of the Code, an employer may alter the price or minimum price that it offers for fish during the 4 month period following certification.

(3) Despite section 45 (2) of the Code, an employer may alter the price or minimum price that it offers for fish if the term of a collective agreement that was in force between the parties has expired.

(4) This section does not apply where the alteration is made in a manner inconsistent with section 5, 6, 9 or 11 of the Code or section 5 of this Act.

Effect of certification

12   It is not inconsistent with section 27 (1) (a) or section 48 of the Code for an employer to pay bonuses or make other payments to employees above the minimum price in a collective agreement.

Refusal to purchase fish

13   This Act must not be construed to prohibit a refusal to purchase fish for a cause not constituting a lockout.

Jurisdiction of Labour Relations Board

14   The board has exclusive jurisdiction to decide a question arising under this Act, including jurisdiction to decide

(a) that a person may be an employee for some purposes and an employer for other purposes, and

(b) that the relationship between a person engaged in commercial fishing and a purchaser of fish constitutes an employment relationship.