Surviving union certification (Guest Commentary)

Putting a hostile beginning and a year-long strike behind them, the B.C. Automobile Association and its union bury the hatchet and come out ahead
By Vern Oster
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/12/2005

February 1997: The union has landed. The news took management by surprise. In its 90-year history, the British Columbia Automobile Association had never experienced a serious attempt to sign up with a union.

BCAA is affiliated with the Canadian Automobile Association and operates an unusual business model. In addition to its cornerstone business of providing emergency roadside service to its 750,000 members, the BCAA employs a group of about 300 travel agents, as well as several hundred sales agents specializing in a broad range of insurance products. In 1997 the organization employed 1,100 people.

Perhaps fearing the prospect of contracting out work and other changes to the business, a group of employees at various locations signed union cards.