Vancouver (Sept. 18th, 2019) – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)whose member companies employ thousands of B.C. construction workers, today launched a public awareness campaign that calls out the Horgan government for introducing “fake” Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) on major infrastructure projects in B.C.
“B.C. workers and communities will see few of the so-called benefits, and the province as a whole will pay a steep price for this phony arrangement,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “The government should go back to the drawing board and come up with a real CBA. Right now, British Columbians are stuck with a costly fake.”
What premier Horgan calls a Community Benefits Agreement, is really a sweetheart deal for his union buddies. Only the government’s favoured Building Trades Unions are allowed to build taxpayer-funded projects. All workers must join and pay dues to the BTUs, even though they represent just 15 percent of B.C.’s construction workforce.
“This is fundamentally unfair and deprives workers of their basic right to association,” said de Jong.
Many construction companies describe the government’s rules for building public infrastructure as a complete fiasco. Hiring restrictions, added red tape and bureaucracy are discouraging companies from bidding on public projects. Fewer competing bids result in higher project costs.
Ultimately, the province’s taxpayers will pay – big-time! Since the Horgan government started applying fake CBAs to public projects over a year ago, costs have soared. The Pattullo Bridge replacement project is at least $100 million over budget. The four laning of a small stretch of Trans Canada Highway east of Revelstoke is $22 million over original estimates.
“The government’s CBA scheme is a debacle that can no longer be masqueraded as a public benefit,” added de Jong. “We strongly encourage the public to demand the real deal from this government. Major infrastructure projects should be built without trampling on worker rights or jacking up construction costs. The public deserves better.”
To learn more about the Horgan government’s fake CBAs, go to: www.fakecba.ca
About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)
With offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario, PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure and pipeline construction across Canada. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers in Canada, represented primarily by CLAC.
For further information, contact:
Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699