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Letter To The Editor: CBA conference reiterates how broader construction industry is left out

Paul de Jong
Letter To The Editor: CBA conference reiterates how broader construction industry is left out


To the Editor,

Re: CBAs take on international tone, featured in the Jan. 30, 2019 Journal of Commerce

So much for dispensing with all the hyperbole around Project Labour Agreements (PLAs).

At a recent conference on the subject, U.S. speakers who lauded the benefits of PLAs, glossed over an important distinction.

The PLAs they point to as success stories are inclusive and invite all labour models to participate.

When PLAs are designed openly and transparently, there can be real benefits and training opportunities for underrepresented groups.

But, that’s not how it is in B.C., where Premier John Horgan’s covert infrastructure rules shut out 85 per cent of the construction workforce who chose not to associate with the Building Trades Unions.

These are the same rules that force contractors to hire through a crown corporation run by Horgan’s favoured unions.

This does not instil the kind of labour harmony that the American conference speakers associate with PLAs.

It’s unfortunate that this conference and the B.C. government’s PLA share the same hallmarks.

Both purposely shut out the broader construction industry with the goal of perpetuating rather than toning down the rhetoric over restrictive PLAs.

Paul de Jong
President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

Recent Comments (1 comments)

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Mark Image Mark

Oh, come on Paul. Despite knowing better, you repeatedly suggest that the 85% of workers who are not in construction unions in BC are there by conscious choice.
For the last 16 years under the “Liberal” regime in this province, union construction companies didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of competing on public infrastructure projects. Low bid was king, but high costs were the result. Accordingly, there were not many opportunities for construction workers to join unions, as there was very little union work. This is no indication that workers were opposed to unions, or did not want to join them, just that there were not many opportunities to work through one.
Further to that, as you are very aware, the 85% of non-union construction workers in this province have not been “shut out” of these projects. Anyone can bid and anyone can work on these projects. You do not have to be a union contractor or a pre-existing union member to do so.

Journal of Commerce should be checking their facts prior to publishing this foolishness.


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