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Updated: 1 day 13 hours ago

Independant Review of the ITA

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 12:47

Please click here for a copy of the Independent Review of the ITA

Categories: Labour News

Harper Government’s Half-Hearted Announcement on TFWs in Food Services Does Nothing to Protect TFWs from Ongoing Employer Abuse

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 10:30

Vancouver, BC – Yesterday’s Government of Canada announcement that it would suspend the Temporary Foreign Worker Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) in the food services sector would do nothing to protect current TFWs from abuse nor would it put unemployed Canadians back to work.

The Government of Canada has allowed the TFW program to swell dramatically in the entry-level sector in the past few years.

“Every week we hear more stories of abuse of Temporary Foreign Workers by employers while at the same time Canadian residents are losing their jobs,” said Jim Sinclair. “Minister Kenney must act immediately to end the use of TFWs in lower-wage categories jobs such as childcare, cleaning, hair-dressing and retail work.”

The Federation reiterated its demand that the Government of Canada:

  1.  Provide all TFWs a path to residency through Immigration Canada; and
  2. Immediately restore the TFW program to its original intent of filling short-term, high-skill positions.

Further, the Federation called on the BC Government to step-up to ensure that TFWs have real access to protection by creating a provincial registry of Employers and mandating the Employment Standards Branch to investigate and provide advocacy in cases of employer abuse.

The more than 160,000 unemployed British Columbians should be given opportunity to fill the entry level positions where the Government of Canada has authorized TFWs including: truck drivers, hair salons, childcare, construction, retail services, and health care.

“Canada has had a boom and bust resource-based economy for over 150 years and our country has managed that through immigration, skills training, and hard-work,” said Jim Sinclair.  “The Government of Canada would have you believe that the Canadian economy would collapse without vulnerable temporary workers – which is simply untrue.”

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For more information contact Summer Crosson at 604.430.1421

TFW Backgrounder

 

 

Categories: Labour News

B.C. Federation of Labour Statement on McDonald’s

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:53

The B.C. Federation of Labour has sent a letter to McDonald’s Canada asking for an immediate meeting to discuss ending the company’s use of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs).

  • McDonald’s in Victoria, Parksville, and Lethbridge have been barred from applying to bring in more TFWs pending an investigation by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship.
  • McDonald’s has stated it is has at least 3,400 TFWs at its 1,400 Canadian restaurants.
  • McDonald’s workers at multiple locations report losing hours to temporary workers.

In keeping with our desire to find solutions, the B.C. Federation of Labour has proposed the following to McDonald’s:

  1. McDonald’s, its franchises and contractors agree that it will cease using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
  2. McDonald’s will call on the Government of Canada to eliminate the use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for jobs in the entry-level categories (National Occupational Classification C&D); and
  3. McDonald’s will support workers in gaining a path to residency by advocating changes to provincial and federal program regulations.

The B.C. Federation of Labour sent a letter to McDonald’s on April 11, 2014 McDonald’s Temp Foriegn Workers. We are awaiting a response.

For more informaiton, please contact Karen Cooling at 604-430-1421.

Categories: Labour News

BC Unions Oppose Attack on Bargaining Rights

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 17:39

Vancouver, BC – An emergency meeting of the B.C. Federation of Labour tonight issued a statement calling for the Provincial and Federal governments to rescind threats to force truckers back to work through back-to-work legislation and license suspensions.

The statement also called for solidarity with Unifor in their attempt to negotiate a collective agreement to ensure Port drivers are paid fairly and can earn a reasonable living servicing Canada’s largest Port.

Unifor has made an offer, signed by union representatives, to end the dispute and return to work with a new collective agreement.

More than 1,000 truck drivers have seen no increase in rates since the last strike nine years ago which lasted 47 days. In many cases undercutting by employers has meant that drivers are actually earning less today than they were in 2005.

“We are calling for a mass demonstration Friday, March 21st at 12:00 pm noon at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “It is outrageous that governments are willing to destroy the livelihoods of these drivers by banning them from working at the Port forever. Truckers are simply standing up, legally, for the right to make a decent living.”

Sinclair said labour peace comes from negotiations not legislation.

“There is a solution. It is tried and true. Sit down with Unifor and negotiate a new collective agreement,” the statement said. “Pay truckers properly, provide real enforcement of the rates and ensure waiting times are kept to a minimum.”

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For more information, contact Jim Chorostecki, Executive Director 604-209-2025.

For the statement visit: 0500-14pr-JS-Statement of solidarity Vancouver Port Truckers

Categories: Labour News

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 14:24

Sisters and Brothers:

On this International Women’s Day I want to thank you for the work you have done in your unions for working women in this province.  When I see the young women who are engaged in the labour movement I am struck by how far we have come since my mother’s era.

Of course there is much work still to be done.  Our struggle to end the appalling rate of violence against women continues.  We are delighted by the generosity of affiliates in funding our partnership with the B.C. Lions and Ending Violence Association of B.C. in the Be More Than a Bystander program.  Attached you will find an article written by B.C. Federation of Labour Women’s Rights Committee member, Anne Davis, from the Health Sciences Association –Unions Taking Action on Domestic Violence.  Anne works with victims of violence and speaks eloquently about this issue.

The B.C. Federation of Labour Women’s Rights Committee has joined with many of our affiliates and the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C to continue our strong advocacy for a universal, publically-supported, affordable childcare program.  While this is an issue for both women and men we know that women often bear a disproportionate amount of the burden of childcare and this creates barriers to equity in our workplaces and society.

We also recognize that we must more actively find ways to support and encourage women to enter the trades and other non-traditional areas of work.

I know that on this day when we remember and celebrate the contributions of women in our society that you will pledge your continued support for these issues and remain committed to our ongoing work for a more equal and just province and world.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Irene Lanzinger
Secretary-Treasurer
B.C. Federation of Labour

CLC International Women’s Day

Categories: Labour News

Organized labour takes good jobs agenda to Victoria

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 09:40

Victoria, BC – Representatives of British Columbia’s largest unions are in Victoria this week, making the case for good jobs.

The labour representatives focused on three aspects of good jobs: fixing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, improving apprenticeships, and increasing the minimum wage.

“Our focus today is creating real opportunities for young people to find a solid footing in the workforce, and on lifting the lowest paid workers in our province out of poverty,” said Sinclair. “It’s not complicated, but it will take a commitment on the part of MLAs on all sides to make good jobs a focus.”

On the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Sinclair said that the Program is preventing young British Columbians from finding entry level positions. He called for changes to ensure British Columbians have the first shot at all BC jobs.

“Since the recession, nearly one-third of jobs created in BC have been filled by temporary foreign workers, while 170,000 British Columbians looking for work can’t find it,” said Sinclair. “Local hiring creates opportunities and builds communities. That’s what good jobs are all about, and we are standing up for local jobs.”

On apprenticeships, Sinclair said it’s time for government and its agencies to step up to the plate by providing apprenticeship opportunities on government funded projects and in government facilities.

“Many private sector companies do an excellent job training British Columbians through apprenticeships, but government is a notorious poacher of skilled trades people,” said Sinclair. “By mandating apprenticeship ratios on government capital projects, we can train young and out-of-work British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.”

And on minimum wage, the labour leaders made the case that a full week’s work should at least pay the bills at the end of the month. They argued for an increase to the minimum wage to $13 per hour, and for the wage to be adjusted annually to keep up with the real cost of living.

“In BC, $10.25 per hour doesn’t come close to paying the bills,” said Sinclair. “I think we can all agree that good jobs mean someone who works a full-time work week should be able to afford to raise a family.”

Sinclair noted that the B.C. Federation of Labour had first called for the wage to be increased to a minimum of $10 an hour in 2004. Ten years later, $10.25 leaves a full-time worker four hundred dollars short every month.

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Media Contact: Michael Gardiner, 604-436-7030

 

Categories: Labour News

BC Budget predicts growing unemployment, underfunds training and services

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 14:06

Victoria, BC – B.C Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair today expressed disappointment in a budget that projects increasing unemployment and cuts funding for education and training.

 “This is supposed to be a jobs budget, but it predicts growing unemployment1. What’s needed in BC is more good jobs, with better wages,” said Sinclair. “That takes significant investment in education and training, and this budget fails to deliver.”

 Relative spending on education is budgeted to fall nearly 10 percent over the next three years2, at a time when government is predicting one million job openings before 2020. Employment program funding is also cut by 45 percent.

 Sinclair also expressed disappointment that household budgets were being forced to pick up the costs of balancing BC’s budget.

 “British Columbians are feeling the pinch of rising costs for everything from significant increases in MSP premiums to 25 percent increases in hydro rates,” said Sinclair. “As their household challenges rise, it is little comfort that government has claimed a balanced budget. For these British Columbians struggling to make ends meet, a budget that reaches deeper into their pockets is anything but boring.”

 Sinclair said that good jobs also need strong public services. “We can’t predict a growing economy and a growing population, and not account for increased demands on services like health care,” said Sinclair. “And we also need to invest in government operations that assess and approve projects. This budget simply doesn’t do that.”

 Sources:
1. Page 68 Budget and Fiscal Plan. Unemployment rate predicted to rise to 6.7 percent in 2014-15 and to 6.8 percent in subsequent years.

2. Page 125 Budget and Fiscal Plan. Education spending as a percentage of GDP drops from 5.2 percent to 4.7 percent from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

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Media Contact: Michael Gardiner at 604-436-7030   media@bcfed.ca

Categories: Labour News

Lack of charges in Babine explosion shakes worker confidence in provincial safety agencies

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 14:39

Vancouver, BC – B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair said today that significant steps must be taken to restore confidence in worker protection in British Columbia, in the wake of a damning incident investigation report into the deaths of Robert Luggi and Carl Charlie in the Babine Forest Products explosion and fire.

“Today, a detailed investigation report was released that clearly shows the incident was preventable, that risks were known and that necessary measures were not taken,” said Sinclair. “And yet, in the face of an apparent wall of evidence, the crown has chosen to not lay charges.”

Sinclair noted that the investigator recommended charges be laid, but that the Crown dismissed the recommendations. Investigators need to have confidence that when they recommend charges, charges are laid.

To restore confidence in worker safety, Sinclair called on the Premier to ensure:

1. A public review of the investigation, including the decisions to not lay charges.

2. The imposition of maximum penalties available under the Workers’ Compensation Act, with those penalties invested in forest safety training in the region.

3. All responsible Crown agencies, including the Criminal Justice Branch, the WCB and the BC Safety Authority, report within six months to British Columbians on a new process to ensure investigations into workplace incidents are conducted in a thorough, timely and effective manner, and that result in charges where warranted.

“Unless these steps are taken, and effective cooperation between agencies results, worker safety will remain compromised in our province,” said Sinclair.

Sinclair said this is a difficult time for the families and friends of the workers killed and injured on the job. “The failure of the Crown to bring charges leaves the families without much needed closure.”

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Media Contact: Michael Gardiner at 604-436-7030

Categories: Labour News

International Review Rebukes IKEA for Unfair Labour Practices

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:48

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

December 12, 2013 

International Review Rebukes IKEA for Unfair Labour Practices

Vancouver, BC – An international panel has issued a damning report on IKEA Canada’s approach to labour relations at its Richmond, BC store.

Workers at the Richmond location have been on the picket line since they were locked out more than six months ago. At issue in the dispute are major concessions on benefits and cuts to the wage scale.

“IKEA’s corporate culture is assumed to be built on the Swedish model of cooperation and fair treatment in the workplace,” said B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair. “For whatever reason, management at IKEA in Richmond are out of step with this model.”

“A key finding of the panel was a disturbing undercurrent of union-busting and aggressive anti-worker behaviour, including firing at least one worker on the picket line,” said Sinclair. “This union-busting approach is clearly counter to IKEA’s own code of conduct.”

The panel, which consisted of international labour experts, visited Vancouver in early November of this year, interviewing workers and holding a public hearing. Store management declined the opportunity to meet with the panel.

Sinclair supported the report’s key recommendations, and called on IKEA to end the lockout and return to the negotiating table in good faith with no preconditions. He also gave his support to the recommendation that IKEA Richmond break off its relations with union busting organizations and law firms.

Sinclair noted that in a recent survey of more than 1,200 British Columbians conducted for the B.C. Federation of Labour, 54 percent of regular IKEA customers said they would shop somewhere else during the dispute.

The report is available for download at bcfed.ca/ikeareport (click here).

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Media Contact: Michael Gardiner, 604-436-7030

Categories: Labour News

IKEA Lockout Ad Campaign Launches

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 14:27

Teamster 213 and the BC Federation of Labour are airing radio ads over the next three weeks encouraging British Columbians to shop somewhere else until IKEA makes a fair offer to its 300 employees. The employees have been on the picket line for more than six months, while IKEA has proposed concessions and a lower pay scale.

http://bcfed.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/RadioAd-Shop-IKEA.m4v

This ad is copyright of the BC Federation of Labour and may not be used without our permission. Please do not download or rebroadcast without permission.

Categories: Labour News

B.C. Federation of Labour calls on RCMP to investigate allegations of fraud and theft against Tim Hortons

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 13:11

Vancouver – B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair today called on the RCMP to launch an investigation into Tim Hortons in light of serious allegations of theft and fraud committed against a number of its employees who are Temporary Foreign Workers.

According to claims by the workers, their boss at a Fernie, BC Tim Hortons demanded cash payments for any overtime wages they received. As well, workers allege they were asked to make payments to cover the employer’s cost for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Sinclair said these allegations go well beyond infractions covered by BC’s Employment Standards Act, and if true, likely constitute serious criminal offenses.

“There is rarely a sufficient penalty leveled against the employer by the provincial Employment Standards Branch,” said Sinclair. Despite the federal government’s promise to increase enforcement, and many well documented cases of exploitation, few employers have been cited for non-compliance.

“This case is yet another example of the shameful exploitation that happens with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program,” said Sinclair. “And while this case itself warrants an RCMP investigation, the program itself is equally to blame.”

“Tim Hortons is an iconic Canadian franchise, yet they are among the most significant users of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If they are proudly Canadian, as their marketing claims, it’s time they joined us, and most British Columbians, in calling for an end to this abusive program,” Sinclair said. “None of us are looking for a cup of coffee or a donut at the expense of exploiting workers.

These allegations follow on other serious human rights allegations by migrant workers from Mexico which have landed Tim Hortons and a Dawson Creek franchise owner in front of the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

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For more information, contact:  Michael Gardiner, 604-436-7030.

 

Categories: Labour News

Statement from B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair on the Passing of Jack Munro (1931-2013)

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 11:21

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of former IWA President, and B.C. Federation of Labour Vice President, Jack Munro.

In 1959, Jack Munro moved to BC to work as a welder at a Nelson sawmill, where he quickly rose in the union from Job Steward to Plant Chair. In 1966, while President of the Nelson and District Labour Council, Jack ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the BC NDP. While elected politics were not in his future, Jack’s impact on BC’s political and economic scene was just beginning.

Jack was elected President of the IWA in 1973, beginning a long career defending the interests of working people. Known for his salty language and quick tongue, Munro was ever clear on where he stood.

Jack spent his working life determined to ensure that workers were treated fairly, and that they and their unions deserved respect and recognition for their rightful place in Canadian society. 

Jack “retired” from the IWA in 1991, but he never really understood the word retirement.  Through much of the 1990s, Jack’s passion for forest communities brought him to lead the Forest Alliance.

In more recent times, Jack spearheaded the creation of the Labour Heritage Society, an organization dedicated to telling the stories of working people in British Columbia. Ever concerned that working people receive fair recognition for their role in building our province, Jack’s hard work led to the permanent installation of artwork depicting working people’s history of BC at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

On behalf of BC’s labour movement, we extend our deepest sympathies Jack’s wife Deborrah, their family and friends, and the countless working people who mourn his death.

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 For more information, contact Michael Gardiner: 604-436-7030.

Categories: Labour News

Bangladesh Accord Signatories

Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:39

The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections.

Where safety issues are identified, retailers commit to ensuring that repairs are carried out, that sufficient funds are made available to do so, and that workers at these factories continue to be paid a salary.

The Accord is a legally binding agreement. It has been signed by over 100 apparel corporations from 19 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia; two global trade unions, IndustriALL and UNI; and numerous Bangladeshi unions. Clean Clothes Campaign, Workers’ Rights Consortium, International Labor Rights Forum and Maquila Solidarity Network are NGO witnesses to the Accord. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) acts as the independent chair.

Follow this link for a list of signatories. http://www.bangladeshaccord.org/signatories/

Categories: Labour News

RECONCILIATION WEEK MESSAGE FROM JIM SINCLAIR

Thu, 09/12/2013 - 15:26

The B.C. Federation of Labour encourages all union members to take part in Reconciliation Week, September 16 to 22, 2013, to be educated on the concept of reconciliation and what it means to the people on whose land we build our livelihoods as working people.

Reconciliation Week is an important part of understanding the magnitude of the issues caused by the residential school atrocities that occurred in Canada and the level of impact they had on our country’s first peoples.

“It’s important to realize that reconciliation with Aboriginal people doesn’t just mean understanding what happened to people who were forced into residential schools, but the longstanding impact of government policies on Aboriginal peoples in Canada,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “Reconciliation means more than just saying we are sorry for what happened: it means making every effort to ensure that the Aboriginal people of our province and our country are considered in economic initiatives in our communities. Aboriginal people should be beneficiaries of economic initiatives and decision makers in the processes from which those initiatives are born.”

The Federation hopes that Reconciliation Week will not be a one-week-per-year series of events, but rather, the beginning of a shift towards a culture of collaborative effort with Aboriginal people in community planning through all levels of government and society. Sinclair congratulated organizers for recognizing the importance of reconciliation with and for other Canadian cultural groups. “From Japanese Canadians who faced internment, to Chinese Canadians and Indo Canadians who faced the discriminatory head tax or were barred outright from entry into Canada, the struggle for human rights is shared.”

The B.C. Federation of Labour is proud to endorse and join Reconciliation Week events. 

               *Lighting the Fire of Reconciliation: September 16, 2013
               *All Nations Canoe Gathering: September 17, 2013
               *Truth & Reconciliation Commission BC National Event: September 18–21, 2013
               *Walk for Reconciliation & A New Way Forward: September 22, 2013

For more information on events during Reconciliation Week, please visit http://reconciliationcanada.ca/events/

Categories: Labour News

LABOUR DAY MESSAGE FROM JIM SINCLAIR

Mon, 09/02/2013 - 07:01

Strong unions key to a healthy middle class

Labour Day is a day to reflect on the important role of working people in Canada’s economy and our society, and on the gains we’ve made in the past 100 years. This Labour Day we also remember that it was working people banding together that brought us these gains.

It is all too easy today to take for granted the role of unions in improving our working lives. After all, the most significant successes of the labour movement have benefited all Canadian workers for decades. Whether it’s the 40-hour work week, workplace safety requirements, or the weekend; they’ve all been a part of our workplaces for as long as most of us have had jobs. Long enough that most Canadians don’t know that working people, through their unions, had to fight hard for each of these advances.

The work of today’s unions is no less important. Today’s unions are focused on making work safer, on ensuring that an honest forty hour work week pays the bills at the end of each month and leaves behind a little extra for savings, and on protecting the rights of individual workers when they are treated unfairly. When our governments try to lower wages and standards by making it easy for companies like Canadian Dehua coal mines and Tim Horton’s coffee shops to bring in temporary foreign labour without the same rights as Canadians, it’s unions that are standing up for Canadian jobs.

As the world becomes smaller with globalization, Canada’s unions have become more relevant than ever. Company profits are rising. But instead of sharing the profits as wages with their employees, too many companies are coming to the table demanding wage concessions, cuts to benefits, and longer work weeks. Too many employers are trying to increase their profits by cutting corners on safety. And too many employers are contracting out Canadian work to overseas contractors.

Working people through their unions are the one group standing up for the middle class and for good jobs. Our governments certainly aren’t.

So on this Labour Day, let’s remember that working people had to stand together to make the progress we’ve made. Let’s also remember that working people must stick together to continue to preserve our gains, and build the kind of Canada in which an honest day’s work is rewarded with respect, fair pay, and fair treatment.

 

Categories: Labour News

BCFED PRESIDENT VISITS LOCKED OUT WORKERS IN KELOWNA

Mon, 08/19/2013 - 16:41

BCFED President Jim Sinclair visits members of IBEW 213 from FortisBC who have been locked out.

Kelowna, BC—On Monday morning, B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair joined several dozen members the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 213, employed at Fortis BC, who has been locked out by the company which declared $187 million in profits last year.

The workers we’re joined by members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees’ Union (COPE) Local 378 also employed at Fortis BC, who have been respecting the picket line since the lockout began more than two months ago.

“Thank you for standing together against this company which is guilty of disrespecting the work you do every day for more than 150,000 customers”.  Sinclair told the workers.”In the cold, the rain, and in the dark, you are the ones that power the customers and power this company”.

The company pushed through the lockout after forcing a vote of union members on the final offer.  Union members rejected the company’s offer by eight-eight (88) percent.

Several workers expressed frustration over the company’s moves to ignore the essential service order of the Labour Relations Board.  The company continues to do work that has been ruled non-essential by the Board.

“The customers of this corporation respect the work that these workers do day in and day out, and we need to send a strong message to the company that the lockout must end and a fair settlement must be reached,” said Sinclair.

Sinclair noted Fortis BC CEO John Walker earned more than 1.3 million dollars last year while offering far less to its unionized employees.  Since 2010 Walker’s base salary increased by fifteen (15) percent to $520,000 while the remainder of the 1.3 million is comprised of incentives and bonuses.

Fortis BC is a regulated monopoly that is guaranteed profit based on the cost of operation.

The parties go to mediation later this week.

 

Categories: Labour News

Labour Organizations Call on BC Ferries to Build New Vessels in BC

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 15:36

New Westminster – BC Ferries announcement that it will build three new Intermediate class vessels was bittersweet, as BC Ferries once again opened the procurement process to international shipyards.

“We have been building ships on the west coast for over 100 years. We have the infrastructure, we have the facilities and we have the trades’ people to do the job,” said Lee Loftus, President of the BC Building Trades Union. “If Canada starts here, then the jobs need to start here instead of infrastructure funding for foreign countries.”

BC Ferries announced earlier today it would build two new vessels capable of carrying 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers to replace the Queen of Burnaby and the Queen of Nanaimo, along with a third vessel capable of carrying 125 vehicles and 600 passengers to provide refit relief and augment peak and shoulder season service.

“Our members are ready, willing and able to do the work to build these replacement vessels,” said George MacPherson, President of the BC Shipyard General Workers Federation. “On one hand, the provincial government lobbies the federal government to ensure ships are built in BC, but it refuses to do the same when it comes to BC Ferries.”

“The last major procurement saw BC Ferries sending $542 million overseas to build three Super-C class vessels in Germany,” said Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director, BC Building Trades. “In the face of a looming domestic skilled trades’ shortage, they have decided to once again open the process to foreign shipyards instead of providing jobs and training opportunities here in BC.”

Labour unions were disappointed that the announcement by BC Ferries clearly welcomed proposals from international shipyards because it limits the ability to provide local training and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians.

“Almost fifty years ago we built the original vessels, surely some 50 years later, we can build the replacements as well,” noted B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair.  Sinclair said the province can’t afford to give away good paying jobs that the shipbuilding industry provides. “British Columbians pay every day for the operations of BC Ferries; so it should be British Columbians who first benefit from any shipbuilding contracts.”

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For more information, contact:

BC Building Trades Tom Sigurdson – 778-397-2220
BC Shipyard General Workers Federation George MacPherson – 604-220-3291
BC Building Trades Lee Loftus – 604-877-0909
B.C. Federation of Labour Michael Gardiner – 604-436-7030

Categories: Labour News

Show of Support Planned for Locked-out IKEA Workers

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 15:20

Richmond, BC – A Saturday morning show of support is planned for IKEA workers at the Richmond IKEA location, where workers have been effectively locked out since early May.

 WHAT:         Support Rally
WHERE        3320 Jacombs Rd, Richmond BC
TIME:           11:00 am, Saturday, July 20, 2013

Speakers at the event will include B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair and a number of IKEA employees who will speak about their experiences with IKEA and with the lockout.

On May 13th, IKEA locked out its employees at the Richmond location to pressure workers to accept a tiered wage structure that would lower the wages paid at that IKEA location.

The IKEA workers are represented by Teamsters 213.

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Media Contact: Kassandra Cordero, Director, 778-239-0569

Event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/302003716612997/

 

Categories: Labour News

In the face of a weakening economy and more cuts to public services, the B.C. Federation of Labour is calling for the government to convene a business and labour summit to find solutions for the province

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 08:46

Victoria–In the face of today’s revised budget, which showed British Columbians facing increased unemployment, lowered economic growth, declines in housing starts and retail sales, and further cuts to services, the British Columbia Federation of Labour has renewed its call for government to convene a business and labour summit to find solutions for the province.

“We are ready to find answers that will create jobs, train British Columbians, and protect critical services such as healthcare and education,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “Cutting services when the economy is weakening is the absolute wrong thing to do.”

Sinclair pointed to recent announcements that British Columbia Hydro was $342 million dollars over budget on the northern electrical line, in part due to the lack of skilled trades, shows that more money, not less, is needed for training in British Columbia.

“We should not be leading the nation in the growth of the temporary foreign worker but in turning out skilled workers to build our economy and our communities,” Sinclair. “Creating jobs is not enough–filling those jobs with British Columbians has to be our goal.”

The budget contained an additional $130 million dollars in cuts over the next three years. In addition, the budget update predicts an additional loss of more than 4,000 public service workers over the next three-year budget cycle.

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For more information contact: Summer McFadyen, 604-785-3661.

Categories: Labour News

Support Teamsters-Do not patronize IKEA in Richmond or Coquitlam

Mon, 06/17/2013 - 16:14

On May 13, 2013 management at the Richmond IKEA locked out the nearly 350 members of Teamsters 213 who work at that location.

IKEA has shown its determination to succeed and a willingness to break labour law, having already been found in violation of Labour Code provisions preventing the use of replacement workers.

IKEA is not a franchised company. The Richmond and Coquitlam IKEAs are both owned by the parent company, whose owners are among the wealthiest 100 families in the world.

I am writing today to make it be clear that customers choosing to patronize the Coquitlam location, while the strike is on at the Richmond location, are assisting the company in breaking the strike.

The issue is the imposition of a tiered wage structure. Despite the Richmond location being highly profitable, management is seeking to impose significant wage cuts on the majority of its work force. Five years ago, the Teamsters fought the tiered wage structure and won.

Tiered wage structures such as the one proposed by IKEA poison work sites, creating resentment between co-workers. Moreover, they contribute to the part-timing of work, as management seeks to take advantage of the new, lower wage categories.

Please inform your members of this ongoing dispute and ask them to not patronize either BC IKEA location until the dispute is resolved fairly and to the satisfaction of the Teamsters and its IKEA members.

I will notify you if the dispute changes significantly or a settlement is reached.

Categories: Labour News

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