News from BC FORUM - recirculated from the BC Federation of Labour
Released by BC Fed on January 23, 2017
Clark jobs update offers little optimism for many BC workers
Vancouver - The BC Federation of Labour says the BC Liberal’s jobs update announcement this morning does little to address fundamental questions about the quality of jobs and how work supports families and communities.
“It’s not just about the number of jobs an economy creates, it’s also about the quality of those jobs that counts as much or more,” says Lanzinger.
“Are jobs stable? Do they pay well to support families and communities? Are there good working conditions? Are they equally spread across the province so that every British Columbian can share the benefits of economic growth?” questions Lanzinger.
“On all these questions Premier Clark missed the boat with this morning’s update.”
Lanzinger says the Federation is disappointed that the BC Liberal’s continue to ignore the plight of low wage workers.
“There are 500,000 workers in this province—a staggering 25% of the non-management labour force— that earn poverty wages. A good jobs plan would make higher wages a priority.”
The proliferation of precarious, part-time work, says Lanzinger, with low wages and unstable conditions is a big challenge for the BC economy that the Liberals ignore. Of the 72,000 new jobs in BC for 2016, more than half were part-time.
“Meanwhile the job picture is bleak in all regions of the province outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria with employment numbers falling in 2016. Yet there was no concrete action in the update to address this.”
Lanzinger also criticized the Clark government for being too much talk and too little action on apprenticeships and skills training. “The biggest impediment to address shortages of skilled labour is the
lack of employer placements so that apprentices can get the on-the-job-experience needed to complete their training.
“And a good jobs plan would be incenting employers to use apprentices, and the government using its status as the biggest infrastructure builder in BC to widely deploy apprentices on all public projects.”