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B.C. government lawyers vote in favour of job action over newly tabled bill

The B.C. legislature and Victoria's Inner Harbour. (File photo) The B.C. legislature and Victoria's Inner Harbour. (File photo)

The 350 lawyers who provide legal advice and write legislation for the British Columbia government have voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action.

A statement Monday from the B.C. Government Lawyers Association says its members oppose the province's efforts to force them to join a union they do not support and have not signed cards for.

The group voted over the weekend, with 97.1 per cent of members supporting job action.

Bill 5, which would require the lawyers to join the Professional Employees Association, was being debated in the B.C. legislature Monday after it was tabled by Finance Minister Katrine Conroy.

Critics say it derails efforts by the lawyers to form their own labour union.

A spokesperson for the association says it has appealed to B.C. Premier David Eby and Attorney General Niki Sharma asking them to uphold a 2018 pledge from the NDP government promising not to force the lawyers into any other government-selected union without consultation.

"Our members have spoken loud and clear," Gareth Morley, president of the BCGLA, said in the statement. "With a 97 per cent mandate of support, our job action committee will start planning right away to oppose Bill 5 with several tactics being considered."

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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