Replacement of the Pattullo Bridge between Surrey and New Westminster is one of the projects designated for 19 international unions affiliated with the B.C. and Yukon Building Trades Council. (Black Press Media)

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Re: Welcome to the union ‘battle zone’ for pipeline construction (B.C. Views, May 12).

Tom Fletcher stated some information in such a way that it blurred the reality of what he was expressing as “fact.”

First, he said the John Horgan government has given large public construction contracts exclusively to the B.C. Building Trades, much to the chagrin of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and organizations like them. This obscures the fact that contracts are awarded to companies, not unions.

Awarding public contracts to companies that have strong unions makes good business and economic sense. Businesses have access to a professional workforce that works efficiently and safely and workers are paid a fair wage and have funds to provide for their families and participate in their communities.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP using ‘sledgehammer’ on contract employers

READ MORE: New labour rules allow construction raids every summer

Community benefits agreements do not preclude any company from bidding on a project, but rather ensure that workers and the local community, not just bosses and owners, benefit from public taxpayer-funded projects. Allowing companies associated with organizations like CLAC, who call themselves unions but bargain provisions below Employment Standards Act levels, takes wealth created by workers and moves it to the one per cent, where they do such things as speculate on real estate, driving up the cost of housing, or deposit in tax-free havens offshore.

Fletcher comments that most building trades-affiliated unions are U.S.-based and international, implying that they are somehow foreign or at least not Canadian. This is like saying that families who moved to Canada from the States generations ago are “U.S.-based.” They aren’t; they’re Canadian.

The B.C. Federation of Labour takes as their slogan a quote from J.S. Woodsworth, the first leader of the CCF: “What we desire for ourselves, we wish for all.” This article, along with others I’ve read from Fletcher, leaves me with the question: what does he wish for all?

Stephen Crozier, President, New Westminster and District Labour Council, Burnaby

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Celebrating 50 years of Rotary in action

The Rotary Club of Ladysmith was formed September 20, 1970

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out of stand on Norcross Road

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read